Learning a Craft: An Option Well Worth Exploring

By September 26, 2007Education and Training

Good column by Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business, in The Daily Columbian, drawing on his own family’s experience in arguing for a full appreciation of how rewarding — and necessary — careers in the trades can be: “Craftsmen get nod over college grads in job hunt.”

In our rush to emphasize college degrees, we’ve forgotten the contributions made by traditional workers and craftspeople. Without my grandfather’s work in the mine, there would have been no copper wire for my dad to install in people’s homes. Without electricians, our homes would have no lights, no heat, and no running water.

Parents should encourage their children to consider learning a craft. Craftspeople are in high demand and pay good wages.

Schools must do the same. Teachers should encourage students to become electricians, carpenters and machinists with as much vigor as they persuade they to go to college. The skills that schools teach-math, science, reading, writing, and comprehension-are just as valuable to a machinist reading a blueprint as they are to a surgeon reading an MRI.

We note that Washingston State has an active “Dream It! Do It!” program to encourage young people to pursue careers in manufacturing.

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