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Recently, the schools in our area, have been focusing on sending every kid to college, regardless of their interest. While I think college is certainly important, I don't think everyone is suited for college. I don't like the fact that they disparage those who aren't interested in college. I would have to say that I would consider the attitude of many in the schools towards those students who aren't interested in college as their primary future source of education as belittling and almost to the extent of bullying kids.

My high school guidance counselor told me that "I had better learn a trade because I wasn't going to amount to anything in life". Now granted, this was in the late 1970's, but such "encouragement" only fueled the fires within me to succeed. Sadly, many don't respond this way and they succumb to what I call "Stinkin thinkin" and they believe that their futures are bleak, which couldn't be further from the truth.

In the end, my high school had me as a guest speaker numerous times to their business classes and in other motivational forums. But the mere fact that a "counselor" would say such things to ANY student is simply unacceptable. Young people I have spoken with in the schools today have told me the comments made about the absolute necessity for everyone to attend college or you will be a "burnout loser" as one young woman was told.

I and a couple of close friends who also own their own companies, have been harping on the local school districts to reinstate the instruction of welding classes, wood working and also metal shop. These were all classes when I went through the school (many moons ago, but it doesn't seem like as many years as it actually is).

The school recently asked and received approval for a $100 MILLION dollar "renovation" program for the schools, which include the Senior High School (grades 9 -12) and Middle School (6,7 and 8th) and also 3 elementary schools. While the school board focused on "new learning environments" which include getting rid of desks and wasting money on expensive consultant recommended furniture, they also installed special custom "booths" in the lunch room which each booth has "charging pods" and electronic attachments for all of the kiddies gadgets.

The most amazing thing for me is that my graduating class was the LARGEST ever to graduate from this school district. Today, the senior class is between 215 to 225 and my class had 365 kids in it. Yet the spending lavishly on ridiculously fancy and unnecessary luxury items within the school is very troublesome to me and many of my friends. A close friend of mine recently personally paid for an all "Astro Turf" sports field which was $1.6 Million dollars just for the field. The big bond project included about $10 million for "stadium improvements". Yet they can't (or perhaps WON'T) find money for welding and machine shop training equipment.

We have been pushing for a program to teach the essential trades which will always be needed, regardless of how fancy technology gets. While you can turn your thermostat up and down with your "smart phone", you still need an HVAC system and someone will need to know how to repair and install them.

While technology has done lot's of things, it hasn't replaced the need for plumbers, carpenters, welders, metal workers and etc., etc. Well, the school has allowed space for these programs, they have left it up to the public to raise the money for the equipment. So, my wife and I agreed to purchase one of the REALWELD Welding Training machines and donate it to the school. Two other friends of mine, one who owns over 100 rental properties and another friend who owns a successful Tool and Die shop are EACH also buying and donating a REALWELD machine to the local school for teaching welding.

This is a great training aid and allows the kids to learn the fundamentals correctly and it helps them adjust their welding style and rid themselves of bad habits before they become ingrained. Here is a link to the website which describes this technology;

RealWeld Systems | The latest innovation in welder training solutions.

Just curious about your thoughts on this issue. The schools all want to send every kid to college and they aren't even offering the opportunity to teach what I feel are many of these essential careers. We have met with 4 different school boards in the area and appealed to them about this issue. Each of us who are involved in this initiative, all chose "non traditional" careers and have done extremely well. We want young people who are interested in learning a "Trade" to have that opportunity. I strongly feel that the future is going to be very bright for the younger people who enter into one of these essential trades and build their own businesses.

Now, at least in my area, when you call for a "repair person", the person who shows up is almost ALWAYS older than 45 or 50 and to me, that signals a real opportunity for young people who want to work with their hands and build their own business.

Recently, a project I am involved in needed commercial brick layers. Ultimately, we had to get the brick layers union to allow us to call retired brick layers back to work because we could NOT find ANYONE to lay bricks. We had guys in their late 70's laying bricks because NO ONE else would work. It's very sad. Of course we ended up with an outstanding end result and the project came in on time and budget. The guys who came out of retirement really enjoyed it and as always, did an outstanding job.

But we desperately need young people to learn these trades. The brick laying would be best learned as working as an assistant with a master mason. In many cases, time is starting to run out as many of these highly skilled trades people are getting on in the years.

I guess I am curious as to if you notice the same issues with trades in your areas. Also, any ideas or suggestions that you may have on how we can encourage the next generation to consider these careers is also appreciated. Thanks for your responses.
 

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I think a lot of this has to do with the conception that the trades in our country are gone - as in manufacturing etc. being sent overseas. I guess they figure that for any young people to succeed in their upcoming world they will have to have that college education.

But what will that education get them? A spot in a cubicle among 1000 other college graduates?

I'm really out of tune with all of this - I still have a hard time grasping the fact that schools don't use books anymore using electronic devices instead. In my opinion that fact alone could be big trouble some day.

When I was in high school in the early 70's the shop classes were alive and well - to the point in your junior and senior year you could spend 2-3 sessions a day in your chosen shop. This was before the Vo-Tech system got going which also added to that.

Of course the shop that I was in and really excelled at was Graphic Arts which is all but antiquated now - everything we did from darkroom work to typesetting to printing is now all now with an electronic device also.

But I agree with you about the other trade shops - who is going to maintain all this mechanical equipment that everyone's lives depend on these days. Heavy forbid - as in your example - if a home or workplace HVAC system goes down - it's like the end of the world for people these days and nobody will know how to fix it.
 

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A lot of kids don't know what they want to do getting out of high school. They look at some of these jobs like they are not going to make any money at them and assume that by simply having a college degree they will make all kinds of money. For me I went into the Military until I figured out what I wanted to do. Then was in the National Guard while attending a Trade School and graduated with an Associates Degree. I had virtually no student loans because of GI Bill and now make 6 figures. This isn't going to be the case in every field but there are lots of people out there with BS and Masters that are flipping burgers because it is the only work they can find.
 

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Great post, the only thing I can add is that no one in this equation seems to be considering the cost of or the burden of repaying that "absolutely necessary " college education that might get you hired at a $40k a year job once your done along with all the other grads.....

Going into a trade is typically far, far less expensive an education that almost assuredly grants a faster route to gainful employment at a rate that is higher than most new grads could hope for, and they have $100K in student loans to repay!

Now granted, if the law of averages plays its cards, the college educated person over their lifetime should gross more than the tradesmen will, but that's only if the tradesmen never advances to a higher level, be it either design and estimating, management, or hanging their own shingle and owning the business that they have the knowledge, training and experience to have done for years.

The world desperately needs BOTH, do-ers and thinkers. Pushing our children only toward one side of that equation will certainly end poorly for our society and only cost us more in the long run...:banghead:
 

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While applaud and agree with your end-goal, I think you are spinning your wheels.

Like it or not a college degree *IS* becoming the entry level job qualification standard. High schools teaching trades isn't going to change that because the college degree is quickly becoming a requirement to get hired in many of the trades too.

The high school diploma just isn't what it used to be. I had this discussion just a few days ago with a friend that recently took on a job as an adjunct professor at a local 4-year college. She teaches "Remedial Algebra". All of her students are people that have high school diplomas but can't perform basic math well enough to take ANY of the college level math courses. They have to pass this course as a prerequisite for any other college math course.
Her class is actually using textbooks that were intended for HIGH SCHOOL Freshman level courses.

Two weeks into this semester she gave a test. Every single student in her class failed.

This isn't the late 70s any more. I went to high school in the late 70s and every single one of us had to take and pass Algebra, Geometry, Trig and Calculus. If you didn't pass you didn't graduate. There was no discussion. And, btw, I went to a State-run VoTech high school. Every person graduating from that school learned a trade. When I graduated maybe 5% of my class went on to college. Now they send better than 40%.

Locally, we also have the issue that there ARE State run VoTech high schools and they are putting out more graduates than there are positions to fill. If an employer is looking at 2 apprentice candidates and one spent a full 2-years out of their 4-years in high school learning the trade and the other spent a grand total of a month, which one gets hired?

I don't have any answers here. I still can't figure out how so many high school graduates can't even perform basic math functions or write without major spelling and grammar errors. And while I absolutely LOVE the idea of letting kids in high school get a taste of the building trades to see if they actually do have an interest in them, I don't think re-introducing "Shop" into your typical high school gets anyone anywhere in the long run. If anything, I think if kids have or express that interest, they should be steered toward the VoTech schools that do exist.
 

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I'm 28 and 12 years ago when I was in high school, I was told by MANY teachers that I should go into something in the "tech" industry. I was told that "tool and die" is a "dead trade" and I "will never find a good job."

Well, I liked working with my hands and figured that if I could chisel out a menial living at $35k-$40k per year, I would be happy. Yeah, I would not have all the cool toys, but I would survive and live a good life. So I took auto shop and machine shop my in my Junior year in High school. I had all my prerequisites done my Freshman and Sophomore year. I quickly figured out that auto shop wasn't for me, I knew I didn't want to work on hot or very cold vehicles all the time and be banging my knuckles. Summer of my Junior year I got a job in a shop as a shop mule (or a more colorful term used in shops). Took machine shop again my Senior year and left school at 10:30am to go to work EVERY day for co-op program til 4:30pm. Worked at that same shop for 9 years, got my Journeymans card, got a 2 year associate degree and became a very proficient welder on top of it.

Left there for a $10/hour raise (who wouldn't?) Worked at the new shop (Faurecia) for two years and now I work for Jeep. Hired in to Jeep as a tool and die maker and within 8 months I was hired into the Union Engineering Dept since I had a Journeyman card and a 2 year degree.

All that goes to say that college isn't for everyone but I still think people should get some sort of post high school education. I wouldn't be where I am today if I ONLY had a Journeyman card, I was told by Faurecia hiring, Jeep hiring and Jeep Union Engineering hiring that having the 2 year associate degree set me apart from the other candidates.

Plus, earning the 2 year associate degree wasn't difficult. I was already taking 70% of the classes necessary while earning my Journeyman card, so I took some extra classes. I worked 40-45 hours per week and took 19 credit hours of college. My day started at 4:45am and ended at 10:30pm when I returned from college... Yeah it sucked at the time but it was all worth it.
 

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The local news clarified the educational system (at least locally)

The local community colleges are teaching what used to be taught in high school.
If students sign up for classes that used to be offered as standard classes,,
they receive an Associates Degree when they graduate from high school.

This also states that the university system is dummied down,,,
Thos students can get many Bachelors degrees within 2 years of high school graduation.

So,, basically,,, what I get from this is that employers are getting Associates Degree level candidates that now present a Bachelors Degree education.

I went through an engineering program in the 1970's.
Compared to today,,, the present students are receiving 4 years of babysitting service for their :gizmo:

If I were hiring today,,, the candidate would have a minimum of a Masters Degree,,,,
 

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Agreed

I agree on the need for more options for young people. Many kids simply can't or won't do actual college level material. That's not because they are stupid or lazy but their heart just isn't there and four years of anything you hate is a long drudge.

Other kids simply are hands on learners and would be excellent at many of the trades if they had a good start. They would also make a good living, very good in some cases because while many college jobs can be off shored, bricks must be layed, wires run, connections made and welds done on site.

While I have a degree, two of the best classes I took were essentially shop classes. In high school we did woodworking, some welding, small engine basics and some electrical work. I managed to find a similar college level course designed for Vocational Educational instructors and snuck that into my coursework. I've used those more than my calculus, political theory or philosophy courses. I stand in awe of some of the work that others on GTT do and hope we can teach more kids to follow in their footsteps.

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm 28 and 12 years ago when I was in high school, I was told by MANY teachers that I should go into something in the "tech" industry. I was told that "tool and die" is a "dead trade" and I "will never find a good job."

Well, I liked working with my hands and figured that if I could chisel out a menial living at $35k-$40k per year, I would be happy. Yeah, I would not have all the cool toys, but I would survive and live a good life. So I took auto shop and machine shop my in my Junior year in High school. I had all my prerequisites done my Freshman and Sophomore year. I quickly figured out that auto shop wasn't for me, I knew I didn't want to work on hot or very cold vehicles all the time and be banging my knuckles. Summer of my Junior year I got a job in a shop as a shop mule (or a more colorful term used in shops). Took machine shop again my Senior year and left school at 10:30am to go to work EVERY day for co-op program til 4:30pm. Worked at that same shop for 9 years, got my Journeymans card, got a 2 year associate degree and became a very proficient welder on top of it.

Left there for a $10/hour raise (who wouldn't?) Worked at the new shop (Faurecia) for two years and now I work for Jeep. Hired in to Jeep as a tool and die maker and within 8 months I was hired into the Union Engineering Dept since I had a Journeyman card and a 2 year degree.

All that goes to say that college isn't for everyone but I still think people should get some sort of post high school education. I wouldn't be where I am today if I ONLY had a Journeyman card, I was told by Faurecia hiring, Jeep hiring and Jeep Union Engineering hiring that having the 2 year associate degree set me apart from the other candidates.

Plus, earning the 2 year associate degree wasn't difficult. I was already taking 70% of the classes necessary while earning my Journeyman card, so I took some extra classes. I worked 40-45 hours per week and took 19 credit hours of college. My day started at 4:45am and ended at 10:30pm when I returned from college... Yeah it sucked at the time but it was all worth it.
Thanks for your post. Education is a life long experience. I earned my first masters degree in my mid 30's while working at running two different companies that I owned. It required me to travel to the Philadelphia, Pa area for various residency stays of about 10 days at a time, every couple of months, over three years, but nothing worthwhile is easy. I later added another degree while still running a company which I have had now for 30 years.

I would ALWAYS encourage people to continue learning, right up until your last breath. With technology, you can learn wherever you want, which was NOT the case when I obtained my degrees. The moment you stop learning, you fall behind in life. I am just frustrated with all of the emphasis which people place on obtaining degrees which frankly do nothing for many people. When I add people at my company, I am interested in their education, BUT, I test their actual skills and their common sense, along with asking them a whole series of questions which indicate to me whether they are really interested in a career or simply a job. I don't hire people who only want a job. I invest my time and money into people who want a career, even if it turns out not to be with my company forever.

I even signed up for various professional writing programs a few years ago, even though It isn't necessarily within the scope of my daily duties with my company. But I always wanted to write a book and now I am. We must continue to grow or soon we will find ourselves where we don't want to be.

Recently, I read a very interesting article written by a college professor about how unprepared for college most young people are. The interesting point he made in his article is that he was adamantly opposed to home schooling, but over time, he realized that many of his very best students in college were actually home schooled and he went into great detail about how the prepared students actually improved both his teaching and the results of most students in his classroom. He summed up the public school students of today as "grossly unprepared" for the next learning stage. But the difficult issue is why is this occurring with record amounts of money being spent on public school educations. I have opinions on this issue but will refrain here as to not get this thread going down that specific road.

Thanks again for your comment and taking the time to share your story with us...........
 

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If I were hiring today,,, the candidate would have a minimum of a Masters Degree,,,,
THAT is a part of this whole issue. Employer's used to screen for whether or not someone had a high school diploma. Once everyone had a diploma, they raised the stakes and started setting requirements for people to have a 4-year degree to flip burgers. The more people that get degrees, the higher the "requirements" will go. But nobody is actually getting any smarter and the only people that benefit from it are the colleges.
 

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I will also add to my comment above that on the job experience, I think, trumps a degree. When I was earning my Journeyman card, our "engineer" (he was fresh out if college with a 4 year degree) couldn't dimension a print to save his life. He would undersize fasteners ALL THE TIME. It got to the point where he finally started to come to me and another Journeyman and have us look over his designs. We would tell him our opinions, he would make the changes and subsequently saved the company thousands of dollars in R&D costs. If I were hiring someone today, I would rather have someone who has a passion for the job, has work experience and is willing to learn.

Ok, back on topic... Sulleybear, Have you considered making a donation for a scholarship fund to be used specifically for a trade? I had 2 years of my college paid for with a scholarship that was specifically for tool and die...
 

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We need burger-flippers as much as we need welders and plumbers. There are tons of college grads who can't find work in their field. But then again, who gets a degree in underwater basket weaving and expects to make a good living at it?

Yes, we need tradesmen. We need people with a work ethic. We need people who are willing to learn and earn. They are in short demand.
 

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I will also add to my comment above that on the job experience, I think, trumps a degree. When I was earning my Journeyman card, our "engineer" (he was fresh out if college with a 4 year degree) couldn't dimension a print to save his life. He would undersize fasteners ALL THE TIME. It got to the point where he finally started to come to me and another Journeyman and have us look over his designs. We would tell him our opinions, he would make the changes and subsequently saved the company thousands of dollars in R&D costs. If I were hiring someone today, I would rather have someone who has a passion for the job, has work experience and is willing to learn.

Ok, back on topic... Sulleybear, Have you considered making a donation for a scholarship fund to be used specifically for a trade? I had 2 years of my college paid for with a scholarship that was specifically for tool and die...
I couldn't agree more with the comment I highlighted. Regarding the scholarship, it is being considered. The three business families I mentioned are discussing doing it together. My wife and I have it in our estate plans since we have no children and we plan on leaving all of our money to charity.

My wife is EXTREMELY passionate about animal welfare charities, and I will admit I am as well, and this if the first time we have actually donated a significant amount of money to something that wasn't animal welfare related. I raised over $3,000,000 to build a new animal Humane Society and it was tough. Many people donate to the United Way and other "human" charities, but my wife and I have always focused on helping animals as they can't do any of the fundraising on their own, like people can.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
We need burger-flippers as much as we need welders and plumbers. There are tons of college grads who can't find work in their field. But then again, who gets a degree in underwater basket weaving and expects to make a good living at it?

Yes, we need tradesmen. We need people with a work ethic. We need people who are willing to learn and earn. They are in short demand.
The lack of work ethic and frankly even having a clue on how to work is stunning. Common sense is also an endangered species in America right now. If we could only invent a vaccine which jump started both the work ethic and common sense.:unknown::banghead:

I recently talked with a college graduate who had a degree in "Russian History", guess what, he was unemployed and frankly not someone I would even consider employable. The thing that I found most interesting about this person was that he was a big supporter of Bernie. Obviously, he wasn't learning much in the classroom.......
 

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We need burger-flippers as much as we need welders and plumbers. There are tons of college grads who can't find work in their field. But then again, who gets a degree in underwater basket weaving and expects to make a good living at it?

Yes, we need tradesmen. We need people with a work ethic. We need people who are willing to learn and earn. They are in short demand.
When I was going through NCO Academy in the Army my roommate was in Intelligence and I was in Infantry. We were talking and he mentioned he had a masters degree in history. I asked why he was enlisted Army and not an Officer. Well he never went through ROTC. I asked why he enlisted. He said there are not a lot of career opportunities for someone with a masters degree in history. You work for a museum or take the track to become a history professor. He had huge loans and the Army was going to help pay them off.

There are too many colleges out there that are more interested in head count and running people through the "system" to make money. Too many people come out of these institutions with little to no job prospects. They don't care about what the job market is like. I took the IT track and while it worked out for me it was the fact that I had an active security clearance along with the degree that got me my first big break working for the Government. I have been working for the government in some capacity for 24 years now. IT can be good but it is tough to stay on top of things. Long hours and very competitive. Many of the people I graduated with, never ended up in the field.
 

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We need burger-flippers as much as we need welders and plumbers. There are tons of college grads who can't find work in their field. But then again, who gets a degree in underwater basket weaving and expects to make a good living at it?

Yes, we need tradesmen. We need people with a work ethic. We need people who are willing to learn and earn. They are in short demand.
That begins as a kid, rarely seen anymore, not taught by most parents and damn sure not taught in schools.
 

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I was recently honored to participate in a panel discussion with students at a local technology center (vo-ed) right next store to the Kalamazoo Promise Area. I was the 'blue collar' trade representative. I was joined by an owner of a construction company and a senior management team member of a construction management company. I was surprised at the interest in the trades. We spoke to the students in the construction arts department. The morning session blew me away. They were largely inter-city kids. They really took and interest in our career paths, our secretes of success and what mistakes we made along the way. They were very courteous. The afternoon class was students from the sticks if you will. Half of them seemed to take and interest in what was happening, the rest just tried to stay awake. The course instructors really wanted to help these young men and women see what success can look like with ambition, integrity, and an apprenticeship. A path other than a four year college/university. We spoke very candidly about appearance, attitude, expectations, discipline, etc.

I do not see the value in most colleges anymore. They seem to churn out helpless self-centered whiners. With a decree and the expectations that they should be treated like royalty. I tried Central Michigan and then Western Michigan. I then moved to Jackson Community College to take related trade instruction for the electrical world. My folks was not one bit happy at first but soon accepted my career path. I planned on an economics major at first. Then electrical engineering. But my passion was to work with my hands.

Our school too did away with all the shop and ag classes that we enjoyed in my day. "A-B" student? Here is the list of medical and law schools. "C" or below, here is the addresses to the military recruiters. Not a slam to my friends in the armed forces, just that was the mentality of the guidance counselor at our school in my day. Nothing really in between. No trades. Would have saved my a year and half if I really had a plan. And my folks some tuition.

Why I admire the Kalamazoo Promise, it seems it is a windfall for the colleges. I have seen no studies if any have been done to show the real value of that. Is the community truly retaining talent and prospering? Maybe it is too soon to tell. As for the trades, they are in trouble for sure. However, maybe not as bleak or past the point of no return. We struggle to find kids teachable and willing to work for our apprenticeship. All of them want the pay but few are willing to take the time to earn it.

After my day with the students, I thought is maybe we are fishing in the wrong pond. There is talent out there and there is kids who want to earn a living and take pride in saying "I built that". What I saw that day was glimpse of America.

isaac
 

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I've actually given this a lot of thought, and there are a lot of moving pieces to this. My better half went to college, then Vandy law school, and now teaches law at the university level after years of corporate and private practice. I didn't. I graduated highschool a year early with a great GPA, but college never entered my mind. My family never talked about it, nobody I knew had ever gone, college was just something other people did. As soon as I graduated highschool, I spent a year working in a warehouse slinging boxes. It's just what everybody did, and you were in high cotton to land a job at a 'good' factory.

That year may have been the most valuable year of education I ever had. I started out in the trailers, stacking boxes out of shipping containers onto pallets. When I was good at that (I showed up early, and was there every day- not hard to excel) they moved me. I took boxes off the pallets and put them on the conveyor belt. Once I began to excel at that they moved me again, this time to taking boxes off the conveyor and putting them on different pallets. After that I went to putting stickers on the boxes that were too large or oddly shaped to fit the conveyor system. Soon, I was driving the pallet jack moving those pallets from the staging area to the loading dock, then supervising the oddly shaped box area. In that year, I learned what work ethic could get you. Sitting in the break room three times a day, I listened to the guys sitting with me. All old enough to be my father, they treated me nice and gave me some very valuable life advice. I could literally go on for hours just about the things I learned in that year, but I won't. Too many kids come out of school and go to college with no idea what the real world is. It's just more school, more of the same.

In that year, I found that warehouse/ factory work wasn't for me. Kind of funny that my eventual career would have me in so many of them, but that's a different story. I got to work with some wonderful people who had what they wanted out of life- steady work, a happy family, etc. I wanted the same eventually, but I didn't want to acquire it while moving pallets of boxes. I spent less than a week considering my next step. I found a tech school in Nashville for mechanics, and turned in my two week notice. My last day, the guys I worked with cornered me and pinned me up against a pole. They strapped me to it with the clear stretch wrap we used to stabilize pallets, just like what happened to all the guys that were either leaving or had a birthday. :lol: About 10-15 minutes afterward, the warehouse manager came by on his golf cart just as I was cutting myself loose, and we chatted for a few minutes. Before parting, he asked if I had a real short memory. Turns out I did, never told anyone about the shrink wrapping other than my mother (I was 18 and living at home) until now. Great job, great people, and a chapter in my life I owe a lot to.

That was a Thursday. Monday I started tech school three hours away. I owned an old hand me down truck, a small tote box of Craftsman tools my grandmother bought me, and had a mattress in the floor of a room I rented in a house with 4 other guys. I worked 'part time' at night, 40 hours a week in a semi truck shop. I learned a lot that year, just watching the people around me. In orientation, they told us that 20% of the class wouldn't make it to graduation. I made up my mind right there, I would make it. We had a mix of people, some were kids who had just left highschool and their parents ordered them to go somewhere. They didn't care. They'd show up late, leave early, not do the work, etc. There were some adults who were making career changes, and a few of us young folks that had to pay our own way through. I learned as much watching the people around me as I did in class.

When I graduated highschool, I had a couple of teachers that called me to ask why I wasn't going to college. Wasting my potential, they said. Tech school? Even bigger waste. Could've, should've done something "better" they said. I didn't want that, and was confident enough to understand it. I was fortunate that my parents supported me. My father was a Navy vet and then a union electrician, my mother had a number of jobs over the years from waitressing in a restaurant to delivering mail and working in a factory. Too many kids today are told they have to have a college education, but nobody ever teaches them to ask 'why'. It just is, don't question it. We all know that isn't true. Too many people are focused on what you need to 'get a job'.

I never wanted a job. My family never told me to get a job. They said "Go make some money." In highschool, my job (save a 3 month stint flipping burgers that I was fired from) was digging up old lawnmowers, repairing and reselling them. I needed money and that was how I could make it. I ran equipment for local farmers, I traded and sold for what I needed. That stuck with me, and I always had a 'side' thing going on. I didn't ever feel like I had to go ask someone for a job. I never felt like I had to fit a mold to be hireable, because I knew I could provide. Kids today don't need to be trained for a job, they need to have someone light a desire in them to provide for themselves. Maybe it's mechanical, maybe it's computers, maybe it's music, who knows. Our society has developed a desire to let someone else do the heavy lifting, run the company, etc. Kids want a 'secure' job but it doesn't exist. The factory closes, the company outsources or gets bought out. The only security is in their ability to go create an income, but too many can't see that. They don't know how to provide for themselves because they never had to. Kids need problems when they're young, otherwise they never learn how to deal with them. I'm not saying we need 6 year olds working in factories, but this sanitized culture is wrecking our future.

Long and short of it before I get even more disjointed and rambling, kids need an education in how much value there is in being able to take care of themselves. That will drive them to find appropriate career paths, education, etc...:flag_of_truce:
 

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Geez this is going to make me sound old. I have such a strong opinion on this topic and I actually don't think what schools push children to do is actually at the heart of it. In fact, it's not the school's job to provide direction to our children, to expose them to different career paths and to help them find those things they do best. It's ours! I see the real issue as a lack of parenting. Kids now sit glued to televisions, computer screens and XBoxes. Kids used to spend more time "doing". Didn't you hear, "Go out and play.", "Go help your Grampa in the garage.", "Your Mom needs help with dinner." In all that "doing", kids had an opportunity to discover what really turned them on. In providing constant entertainment with a lack of good hands on parenting, we're robbing children of a chance to make their own entertainment and in the process, find what they really enjoy doing.

I also feel like kids are no longer expected to work and to contribute meaningfully to their family. A quick example. How many parents have you heard complain about having to feed animals that the kids were supposed to feed. Every time I hear those things, I'm shocked. Raising children is like being a good manager. If my employees don't do what I ask and I do it for them, I'm in trouble. Soon, I'll have a bunch of do-nothing employees. Ditto with children. By constantly doing things for them, rather than teaching and expecting them to do for themselves and holding them accountable, our current culture is missing the point.

No longer are parents parenting. They're lazy.

There are learning paths that don't involve college. Sadly though, most of the children I meet today have no clue what they want to do, nor the work ethic and determination to make it. College then becomes the easier route. Sit in class, be taught. Continue to be spoon fed and entertained. Don't even bother to turn in homework, you'll still pass. It's just a sad, sad state we're in. I don't blame schools though or a lack of opportunity. I blame parents for not being involved and helping to shape and direct their children.
 
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