Dear Superintendent Ramos and Mr Waugh,
I hope you will trust me enough that you will open this link to a video put out by Mike Rowe and distributed by Prager University on the subject of The Trades.
I get so excited about content like this as it never was offered as a path when I was in high school where I was put in shop class because I could not hack College Prep (1963). This should be shown to all students each year throughout their high school years as you just never know who’s mind a little spark in the back of their mind will take hold and grow. I am not against formal advanced education but I am against meaningless debt promoted as the pathway to success just because educators only promote what they know.
Your homebuilding project at Organ Mtn. is nice but because it is not required ed there are many kids out there that will never be in that program who need to see a person like in the video that had the go to college and become a professional mindset (that is so drummed into them in high school) but fortunately had the wherewithal to seek another path later before being overwhelmed and locked in by debt or just quit and end up on some forever low paying job.
I promote the trades as Mike Rowe does as I was a welder, ironworker and communication tower builder. What no one noticed in my high school years was that I liked to build things and the taller the better. My son is a journeyman carpenter in Seattle that pays $50 per hour and they are constantly behind because they cannot find enough skilled labor. Great for the time and a half and double-time on weekends but this shortage is a crisis and needs to be addressed. I replaced decaying bridges during the last big infrastructure push and I know first hand how unsafe many were then and wonder about all that are now. Welders, ironworkers, concrete finishers, carpenters, heavy equipment operators and electricians are required for that work. We need to offer those pathways not as the second class door stage left but equally on par with many college paths.