Setting the Standard for Automation

Where the jobs are: The new blue collar

Where the jobs are: The new blue collar

MORE THAN 2.5 MILLION GOOD-PAYING JOBS WILL BE CREATED IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS. WILL WORKERS KNOW HOW TO GET THEM?

MaryJo Webster, USA TODAY

Joseph Poole will make more than $100,000 in wages and overtime by the end of the year.

“The 21-year-old works in what looks like NASA’s mission control, monitoring the manufacturing process at Chevron Phillips petrochemical plant in Houston. Poole didn’t get the job with the engineering degree he originally considered. Instead, Poole landed it with a two-year course at a local community college.

“The potential to make just as much money as an engineer, but for half the cost of the education, was here,” Poole says. “Just seeing firsthand how things are made is something I really enjoy doing.”

By 2017, an estimated 2.5 million new, middle-skill jobs like Poole’s are expected to be added to the workforce, accounting for nearly 40% of all job growth, according to a USA TODAY analysis of local data from Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. and CareerBuilder.”

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