The Silver Tsunami


Annie Williams, Flash Staff Reporter


In early May of 2018, a new program called PRIME was announced at Fraser High School. PRIME is an advanced manufacturing program for students in Fraser High School that are interested in industry. The program is going to start in the 2018-2019 academic school year, and would

“PRIME is gonna allow us to invest in the middle school years, but especially in grades 9 and 10, in helping kids find a professional career, so then in grade 10, 11, and 12 they can take classes related to industry,” said Brent Brasure, the director of the CTE department in Fraser High School who has graduated from Fraser.

The program helps students figure out what kind of skills they have that can help them in manufacturing careers.

“The goal was to help students identify earlier in their educational career what types of strengths, interest, and values they have, and how those can relate to high skill, and high wage careers in manufacturing,” Brasure said.

Besides helping kids find a career that is good for them, the program is also hoping to find new talents to help the silver tsunami in the industry.

“The silver tsunami has to do with the volume of gray haired, high skilled workers who are retiring in vast numbers, and we done a really poor job of training kids for for those blue collared careers,” Brasure said, “So companies are finding that they don’t have young and ambitious talent to replace all of these gray haired workers that are retiring, referred to as the skills gap.”

Most industries workers are in there late 40s and many workers will be retiring in almost 3 years, leaving many jobs opening, but no one taking those jobs. Employers are in need of finding new and young workers, and companies are spending a vast amount of money towards manufacturing programs.

“It’s a top priority. Which is why you see companies investing large amount of money, which is what the PRIME announcement was about. It was about $450,000 of private money that they’re giving to the district to help us build these advanced manufacturing  programs. So clearly if the need wasn’t there, the company wouldn’t be forking over money,” Brasure said.

Companies are willing to take kids as young as 15 years old in manufacturing facilities, to start mentoring under the soon to be retirees. Companies are also looking for workers that know about computer science and have industrious minds because of the ever changing industry.

“Now we have all these devices where everything is connected, that’s happening in manufacturing too. The machines before had machine operators talking to other machine operators, now you have machines talking to machines across the world, and they’re making parts that work together,” Brasure said, ”We need industrious thinkers, we need tech savvy, young people who know how to work with their hands to be successful in that environment.”

The PRIME program is hoping to find new industrious thinkers that can build, craft, design, and know about technology that can fill in all the jobs in facilities, and train young minds who are interested in manufacturing and want to be successful. business partners hopes that the silver tsunami will soon be replaced with a wave of new ambitious workers and young talents.

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