This is an issue near and dear to my heart. Upon graduation from high school in 1976, my initial dream of a future career was crushed when I realized I would not be able to fulfill it. Undeterred, upon working for the Marion, Ohio division of Whirlpool Corporation I had found a home. That is until I was laid off 18 months later. One of my younger brothers and I joined the Navy and completed out first careers.
Manufacturing in central Ohio has always been an important part of the fabric of our community. Upon reading this article I felt our county (Delaware County, Ohio) was dissed for not being included in this group of school districts. Then realizing that our own Vocational School Delaware Area Career Center (DACC) have no manufacturing based curriculum. Not everyone who graduates from High School is college material, and technical schools in the Delaware, Franklin county areas also lack any manufacturing based curriculum which is why we were not included.
Currently, I’m a self employed Inventory Analyst for an aftermarket transit bus parts distributor located here in my hometown. Using some of the education and skills that you my fellow taxpayers paid for I’m still use some of these same job skills your hard earned tax dollars paid for. Last year we had our best year ever, and we can look forward to many more based upon the economy and the price of gas nationwide.
What do these comments have to do with training schools?? As the line from one of my favorite “West Wing” episodes goes; ” Not every laid off or closed factory / factory worker can build a fusion reactor or solar panels.”
In many areas of the nation not enough is being done to prepare the next generation workforce. We’re focused too narrowly on advanced technology that will not be able to employ 70 % of our potential future workforce. Our curriculums in post high school educational opportunities are now bringing back some of the abandoned career fields thought to be obsolete, such as welding, machining, and materials fabrication in some areas of our nation. Some of these skills should be included in the High School Curriculums of Career Centers and Vocational Training Programs.
As mentioned in the article, some of our current manufacturers have a significant portion of their workforce ready to retire in 10 years or less. At present, there are less than 1/2 of 1% of available workers with the necessary skills to replace them.