BERT MAES

The Future of CNC Manufacturing Education – CNC Manufacturing, Education Reform & Change Management News.

“We must restore industrial arts programs in schools!”

Posted by Bert Maes on July 5, 2010


By John Ratzenberger

High-profile athletes and entertainers are nonessential. If all the celebrities disappeared overnight, it would be sad, but the world would continue with little disruption.

But if  as plumbers, electricians, welders, carpenters, lathe operators, truck drivers and other “essentials” disappeared, our country would grind to a halt.

We must encourage skilled trades and people working with their hands. We must mobilize the public to restore the dignity of essential skilled workers. We must restore industrial arts programs in schools to provide opportunities for young people in greater numbers to build careers building the things the world needs.

The good news is that that there are successful national and local initiatives working to address this crisis. One of them is Bradley Tech, a Milwaukee-based high school that has four academies, each mentored by a sponsor company (AT&T, Harley-Davidson, PieperPower & Rockwell Automation)

Bradley Tech provides hands-on education that encourages skilled trades. Reaching the next generation of young people, with much-needed programs like this, is the key to a sustainable Great Recovery.

The lens through which I view the world is simple: The manual arts always take precedence over the fine arts. Remember, someone had to build the ceiling before Michelangelo could go to work.

Read full article: Help Wanted: Skilled Workers Need Apply

Dear reader: what is most important for the future of our globe – athletes, financing specialists or manufacturers? Or in the words of Nick Panayotopoulos: “What is more important? The performance of a country’s national soccer (football) team or its economy? I.e. goals or exports?

4 Responses to ““We must restore industrial arts programs in schools!””

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bert Maes. Bert Maes said: “We must restore industrial arts programs in schools!”: By John Ratzenberger High-profile athlet… http://bit.ly/9JzF5k #manufacturing #in […]

  2. […] post by Bert Maes var addthis_language = 'en'; Filed under 218637 ← There are heroisms all […]

  3. Our culture (the general populace as well as the educational system) has failed to see the absolute necessity for trades and other skilled professions in the real economy. It seems to be go to college or good luck, because you are on your own.The high tech skills needed to run a world class manufacturing company are not being taught in many schools.This wouldn’t be so bad if they taught the basic skills well, but our culture seems to be intolerant of standards and rigor in education.

    • Bert Maes said

      Indeed, Val, I had the same conclusion this morning in a discussion with a colleague: it is in our culture.
      But how to you change a culture? How do you make sure we start working as hard and practicing as much as the Asians? Parents? Teachers? Media?

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