Positive schooling will solve shortage
To the Editor,
Re: Area facing skills shortage, Jan. 24.
This topic has been bantered about for the last decade.
Various articles in our paper, as well as other publications, have made mentions about the impending shortage of skilled and technical people and the impact this will have on the economy.
Most all solutions have focused on the need to improve post-secondary training and apprenticeship opportunities. Little attention has been paid to the role our schools can play in addressing this topic.
Over the last 20 years in many instances, high school technical programs have been disappearing. Those remaining have failed to keep pace with the realities of today’s industrial trends.
Teaching industrial education/shop class today would be similar to teaching students word processing in a computer class using Smith Corona typewriters and explaining to students how, although the technologies are different, they still share many of the same principles.
Equipment in school shops is often reminiscent of the ’70s and ’80s. If we hope students will view technical/trades career options with interest, we must ensure their exposure to these areas is not that of a history lesson in what industry used to be but rather an opportunity to see what and where it is going.
Promoting trades will require we demonstrate to students that we value these career options.
I agree with school district chairman Jamie Brennan’s idea that we should look at the establishment of a trades academy in our school district if we truly are interested in promoting these career options to our students.
Schools play an integral role in students’ career choices and the promotion of a quality trades academy will have a significant impact on the choices they make.