October 3-9, AOL Jobs, AOL.com and our celebrity spokesperson, John Ratzenberger, are coming together to bring awareness to the people who literally built and continue to build America's foundation -- skilled workers.
There appears to be a surplus of jobs waiting to be filled -- from auto mechanics to welders -- and not enough people trained to fill them. Yet our unemployment rate continues to hover around 9 percent and America's jobless are getting increasingly frustrated and scared.
This week we are taking an in-depth look into these essential jobs and the people who do them. We'll look at how trade jobs have changed over the years; provide lists of in-demand and high-paying jobs; offer advice about getting these jobs and share the stories of skilled workers -- from aspiring young apprentices to those nearing retirement.
We hope that bringing awareness and respect to the skilled worker will encourage the young and the unemployed alike to consider a path into the "essential arts."
Together, we can get America back to work.
As a nation, we've always had the confidence and imagination to ask, "What if?" Many of America's greatest innovations started in the toughest circumstances. That's why I have hope for American skilled jobs. In this campaign, each of us can make a difference and our leaders will follow. We can't afford to wait for government to get started. Let's make it work!-- John Ratzenberger
-- Start making a difference now at Center For AmericaEmploying America Starts With Us »
Looking for a skilled labor job or trying to find a new career path that actually has job openings? Check out our collection of hot job lists including: 10 Best-Paid Skilled Labor Jobs, 6 In-Demand Skilled Trade Jobs and 15 Jobs You Can Land Without Going To College.Hot Jobs For Skilled Workers »
We talked to numerous tradespeople around the U.S. -- from Altheha DrePaul,a machine operator in Minneapolis and Mitchell Graska, a RV repair technician in Texas to Allison Manderino, Biotechnologist turned Pooper Scooper in Virginia -- all to get the inside scoop about working in a trade.Skilled Worker Stories »