(KAKE) - The pandemic has meant job losses for many in our area but skilled labor could provide hope for those out of work.

Vice President of Career Technical Education at WSU Tech Dr. Scott Lucas said, "For trade skills there's there's definitely always possibilities, especially in construction trades but also when you start thinking about things like heating and air conditioning and ventilation work."

This was a problem even before the pandemic and now the number of young people entering into construction, plumbing, welding, and other trades has gone down.

"There's still a lot of activity that's going on in high schools, but you know tinkering around with your, your dad or tinkering around on cars just doesn't seem to be as prevalent as it once was," Dr. Scott said. 

With so many out of work and so many openings trades could serve as a lifeline for those looking for new careers.

"There's a lot of opportunities that open up. It's just a matter of getting people started in that foundation," said Charles Friedrichs with the Heartland Welding Academy.

Ashley O'Daniel, a welding student at WSU Tech, works at Casey's but wants to learn a trade.

"I get to bring out my creativity, and also do some cool stuff," O'Daniel said. 

More skilled trade laborers are needed to fill jobs not just in Kansas but across the country.

"There's a lot of opportunities, it's, you know, one what's right for the student, what's right for the individual and to try and help them close that gap," Friedrichs said.