There is much discussion nationwide about the "skills gap" — a growing challenge in the American manufacturing industry.

For example, according to research conducted by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, 83 percent of companies surveyed nationally, reported moderate to severe shortages in skilled production positions such as machinists and technicians.

Grand River Technical School offers training and certifications in these fields and other high demand occupations. Students are acquiring skills that are relevant to the current workplace.

With its upcoming annual Career Expo this Thursday, Nov. 15, GRTS hopes to reach high school seniors preparing for graduation, and adults in the community seeking additional training.

"This is our 11th year to host the Career Expo, and it has proven to be very successful for us" said Marla Harrington, GRTS financial aid coordinator. "Each year, we have near 100 attendees including high school juniors and seniors, parents, counselors and adults from the community."

Attendees will tour two programs of their choice, and in a third session, will learn about admissions procedures, financial aid and college credit options. Prizes will also be awarded, including two, $500 scholarships. The tours will begin at 9 a.m. with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Those interested should call GRTS at 660-646-3414 to make reservations.