CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With a demand for skilled trade workers across the country, a handful of seniors at Olympic High School are bucking the trend of heading straight to four-year universities.

  • Some high school students are choosing not to pursue four-year degrees
  • Some career advisers are encouraging students to seek apprenticeships
  • There are 50,000 unfilled technical jobs in Charlotte

“There’s this huge age gap where people are coming in and they’re not skilled enough to do these jobs. Apprenticeships prepare young people to fill these jobs," said senior Jenny Dam.

Several start work in apprenticeship programs just two days after graduation that offer a pathway to a career. Some even tack on financial support to continue their education. Olympic High School Community and Career Development coordinator Mike Realon said there are 50,000 unfilled technical jobs in Charlotte.

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“Especially if we have a kid who is tactile and likes their hands on things, we want them to pursue a pathway towards prosperity and show them what education is needed," said Realon.

The U.S. Department of Education estimates there will be 68 percent more job openings in infrastructure-related careers than there are people training to fill them over the next five years. 

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