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Fitting the Puzzle Pieces Together

by Hickory Jackson (Principles: Freedom and Privacy) - 11 month ago

New homes are in demand but they can’t be built because of a shortage of skilled labor. If we can't solve this, we can't solve anything.

Question: What do the following problems have in common?

- Many elementary and high school students, particularly boys, have difficulty in school. Many underperform and even drop out.

- Many students who graduate college are deeply in debt without the skills needed in today’s labor market.

- Factories in America have shut down leaving tens of thousands of people either unemployed or underemployed.

- The construction industry is facing an acute shortage of skilled labor.

Answer: What these problems have in common is.... a solution!

To be honest, I was blown away to read all the stories of how construction projects are being delayed or declined because there are not enough skilled workers to go around. We just had the nastiest, most divisive Presidential campaign in history with the central issue being the lack of good jobs. And yet, unbelievably, good paying jobs are either unfilled or are, out of desperation, being given to undocumented workers.

The problem is not a lack of good jobs. The problem is an education system that pushes people, particularly men, in the wrong direction instead of teaching them the vocational skills that can provide them with an honest and satisfying career.  

So once and for all, let’s stop this nonsense about free college tuition and instead direct those dollars and efforts to improving vocational training for the 21st century. Further, let’s make that education available for all people in the workforce who have lost one job but are perfectly capable, with the right training, of doing a different one.

Unless, that is, we want to get to the point where homebuilders are forced to have houses built in China and shipped here.

Your comments are welcome.  

 

Comments and Responses (2)

Reasoning used for ARGUMENTS presented
By  Jayef Kennedy - 11 month ago
What you're suggesting is that our schools should encourage students to give up their dreams of a safe and lucrative career in order to join an industry where work is never guaranteed, benefits are frequently non-existent, safety standards are low, and no one wants their daughter to marry you. I certainly agree with you about making training available for unemployed adults - I'm even surprised you're suggesting it - but school needs to be about broadening horizons, not diminishing them.
Discussion Leader's Response : This comment is relevant to the discussion. (Commenter's rating is increased.)
Discussion Leader's Explanation : Diminished horizons occur when students who should not have gone to college graduate with a liberal arts degree and $100,000 in debt. Your statement that "no one wants their daughter to marry you" is particularly telling in that it indicates a societal prejudice against people who put in an honest day's work. Or perhaps, it is just another sign of an education lobby that has sold the false premise that happiness in life cannot be achieved without a college degree. No child should be forced to receive vocational training and no adult should be prevented form going to college if they later decide on a career path that requires college. However, we need to move past our prejudices and make sure that skilled blue collar work is one of the directions made available to our young people.
General Comments
By  Facebook Commenter - 11 month ago
This is already happening and has been for over 10 years throughout the country. The state I live in just passed a law requiring more money be spent on CTE (career education classes ). The federal Carl Perkins grant has been funding these programs for at least 15 or more years. Part of the problem is that most high schools teachers are to promote college. Also, community colleges, which have certificate programs and AAS degrees are too expensive for low income students without taking out loans. Also, many of the manufacturing and construction jobs now require more than just high school skills because of technology. Some states are now allowing all or some students free tuition which will help. I know because my job is to help these problems apply for the Perkins grant money. If that grant is not renewed many CTE programs around the country will not continue.
Discussion Leader's Response : This comment is interesting but not directly relevant. (It might be a good topic for a new discussion)
Discussion Leader's Explanation : Thank you for your insider view. My inclination is always away from increasing government spending but, as you describe it, Perkins grants seem to perform an important public function. We need more skilled workers and the cost of training is too high for lower income people to afford. I could probably support that as a bridge to when the construction industry itself will subsidize vocational education. Right now, their incentive to do that is limited because of the availability of paying illegal immigrants off the books. If we stop allowing illegal immigrants to work illegally, the industry would have no choice but to invest in training Americans.