Porcelli: The Other Side of Education (11/17)

CTE Shop Class: Now It’s High-Tech

Trade workers: Most essential

By Mike Porcelli

Photo by Kateryna Babaieva via Pexels

Last week – Veterans Week – many events highlighted the importance of trade workers to our economy and military forces.

As I marched with my fellow Veterans up Fifth Avenue in the Veterans Day Parade, I was reminded of how important trade workers are to military units.

The military equipment and vehicles on display at the parade require troops with the skills to repair and maintain them. Without such skilled workers, no military unit could function, just as no corporation operates without skilled workers to keep everything running.

After the parade, during ceremonies at the Intrepid Air & Space Museum, the array of military equipment on the ship prompted me to ask a Navy Captain: What percentage of sailors on such a ship use trade-skills to support the ship’s mission? The answer was – more than half of all ship personnel are in trade related fields, from cooks and electricians, to mechanics who maintain both the ship and the aircraft it carries.

I’ve previously reported that NASA could not launch a single mission without their skilled workers who maintain all spacecraft and ground equipment. Likewise, our military could not launch a single mission without their skilled trade workers.

The reduction of trade education programs in schools for over half a century, has been detrimental to both our economy and military forces.

Civilian sector companies and military branches are finding it more difficult than ever to hire workers with trade skills.

This shortage of skilled workers has been detrimental to corporate bottom-lines, the economy in general and is a grave danger to National Security.

The only way to prevent economic collapse and a military without operational equipment is to immediately restore trade education in every school district nationwide.

I’ve written about several local events that are working toward that goal. Last week, another event on Long Island showed school board members the importance of trade-training and the vast opportunities it provides students. This is very encouraging.

To help reverse the decline of education generally, local recruiters from the Army were at the Long Island event and the Community Board 5 meeting to explain the benefits of march2Success.com for students.

The program, which can help students determine their aptitudes for various career paths and help them become better test-takers, can greatly assist schools in matching their education resources to student’s needs. 

I strongly recommend schools assist students in utilizing march2success as a tool to guide them to their best career paths. 

Everyone must recognize and respect not just the service of our combat veterans, but remember to honor the support troops whose trade skills keep military equipment functioning. 

Schools must also respect the needs of students who want such training and provide it, because: trade workers are most essential.

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