The agricultural industry continues to grow through diverse opportunities. There are more job opportunities in agriculture than there are graduates to fill them. Employers are increasingly looking for candidates with two-year degrees, technical diplomas, and certifications to fill these roles. “Two-year/technical graduates are very valuable to our organization,” shared Tara Tench, Assistant HR Manager, Southern States Cooperative, Inc. “The talent we are looking for are not always found in four-year graduates; many two-year schools offer the types of agricultural degrees that we are looking for along with the skill sets needed for many of our positions.”
Welders, electricians, mechanics, and truck drivers are a few typical roles that we often think as skilled trade opportunities. However, candidates with associates’ degrees or technical certifications from two-year schools are often a good fit for roles such as research assistant, sales, technician, executive assistant, operations and customer service to name just a few. In addition to drivers and mechanics, Southern States Cooperative has also filled positions in their retail stores with community college graduates, in roles that sell crop products, precision ag services, and products for livestock, like feed and animal health supplies.
Does your organization have a dedicated program to reach this uniquely trained candidate pool at the community college level? “To find talent in skilled trades, you have to be open to looking in new places and using non-traditional recruiting methods,” said Tench. “Network with career counselors at the schools in your footprint that have these types of programs to build your relationship so students recognize your company name and brand when starting their job search,” added Tench.
Skilled trade talent often lacks opportunities for traditional career fair engagement. Your organization can connect with active talent within agriculture who have a two-year/diploma/technical degree or certification during our Virtual Career Fair on October 6. You can attend from anywhere while eliminating the travel costs and overhead fees of typical career fairs. Find out more and register now.