Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Options Should Expand for Our Youth

I am very concerned about the youth of today. Many young college graduates are doing work far below their educational level and feeling frustrated. This disappointment does not lead to good job performance of course. Some of these people would be happier in technical or service jobs that require training, but not a college education.

We lived in a small town in Michigan in the early 1990s that had an excellent vocational/technical school. High School students who were not college-bound could add vo/tech credits to their high school classes to graduate. The success was amazing. I did several newspaper features on the various programs: aqua-culture (fish farming and hydroponics were combined successfully); auto mechanics; auto body work; hospitality; food service; hair styling; and information technology. There may have been more, but memory fails me. I remember one boy in the auto mechanics program who was found to be so outstanding that he won a full-ride scholarship to study mechanical engineering. He never dreamed of going to college. But, what was really satisfying was watching the self-confidence of these students grow as they found a path they knew would bring them a satisfying career.

This model could be followed all over the country and I believe it should. Not everyone is suited for a college education but they are given the false impression that it is the only way to get ahead in the world. Let's give them better choices!

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