The Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) worked with AgCareers.com
to develop career profiles in plant science, animal science, food science, agricultural mechanics, agricultural business, and natural resources.
“We know we have a shortage (of employees) in the ag industry. We have a huge job deficit,” Ashley Collins of AgCareers.com told FarmWeek. “We hope this tool will get young people interested at a younger age and help them be prepared.”
Each profile is a composite of the actual duties, skills, and education of an individual in that position. The information reflects representatives of careers, employers, and educational institutions rather than specific individuals. The profiles are online at http://mycaert.com/career-profiles
The career information also is presented on posters and display signs and compiled in notebooks for educators, said Jess Smithers, FCAE coordinator.
To ensure the career information was current and applicable to Illinois, AgCareers used its database to validate anticipated demand in Illinois along with job-specific training and skills sought by real employers, Collins said.
Annually, AgCareers posts about 36,000 ag and natural resource jobs on its website and processes nearly 10,000 applications. The company has offices across the United States and in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
The employment firm worked on a similar ag career project in Canada, but Illinois became the first state to develop ag career profiles, according to Collins.
Smithers envisioned teachers using the career information in their classes. Lesson plans and associated resources are available. FCAE also is developing an ag career application “app” for Android smart phones and iPhones, he added.
The career project was funded as part of a grant through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Community College Board.