Most of the students here will start at jobs paying 12 dollars an hour. Skilled machinists can earn upwards of $60,000 a year. For Ryan Vre Non, with a wife and a newborn, it's exactly the kind of job he was hoping for.
Ryan Vre Non: To get the call to actually be accepted into the class was-- right when I hung up the phone I was just like, (CLAP) "Yes."
Byron Pitts: What did your wife say?
Ryan Vre Non: "Oh my God, baby." You know? "You're gonna go to college." It's just like - wow.
Byron Pitts: Life-changing it sounds like.
Ryan Vre Non: Yeah, very. Very life-changing. My whole day is going to be different now.
Byron Pitts: Different how?
Ryan Vre Non: I don't have to wake up and go, "What am I gonna do now?" You know? "Okay, I fed everybody yesterday, but I don't have enough money to feed people today." Or, "I don't know where to step next, you know. What's my next move?"
Click Bond is having trouble finding entry level employees. For manufacturing giants like Alcoa, the challenge is retraining people already on the job to keep up with advances in technology. Alcoa is one of the largest and oldest companies in America. It's been hiring skilled workers since 1888 and, today, has factories around the globe.
At its aerospace plant in Whitehall, Mich., 2,100 employees are working three shifts a day, seven days a week. German born CEO Klaus Kleinfeld says Alcoa's competitive edge is innovation, backed up by a skilled workforce. They're producing parts that make jet engines 50 percent more fuel efficient.
Klaus Kleinfeld: I would love to show you how the air flow goes inside. But that's part of probably the best kept secret that this industry has. That's the innovation I'm talking about.
Byron Pitts: And a person just can't walk off the street and put that together for you--
Klaus Kleinfeld: Impossible.
Kari Belanger came to Alcoa with an engineering degree. The company trained her to program robots to do the work that 50 years ago was done by hand. Alcoa also helped pay for Rod Coley to go back to school and get his engineering degree. He X-rays parts to make sure they're perfect before they leave the factory.
Byron Pitts: What do you say to friends and relatives who may be looking for a job?
Male Voice: Well, me personally, I say, "Get your education."
Klaus Kleinfeld: The environment is changing all the time. And if you don't stay on top of things, you know, somebody will eat your lunch.