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Just after our visit to Calhoun-Gilmer Career Center, I came across an article in the AARP magazine that was written in the summer of 1966.

“As educators prepare students to become ‘knowledge workers,’ manual competence is out of favor. Hard-headed economists point out the opportunity costs of what can be bought, and educators say it is irresponsible to educate our young for the trades, identified as jobs of the past. Jobs of tomorrow have become a glimpse of the future, where we take leave of reality and think everything centers around technology.”

The article reminds us that even though manufacturing jobs have left our shores, the manual trades have not. If you need a deck built or your car fixed, the Chinese are no help, because they are in China.

Even appliances made in other countries have to be installed and/or repaired by those who know the manual trades.

The pride of the tradesman is what we hope to develop in our students. The tradesman can just point out: the deck stands and the car runs.

An atmosphere exists at the Career Center where students are encouraged to take pride in their work.

We are told that career center students are not lower class students, just different interests.

After all, the computer expert may need to hire a tradesperson to build his deck.


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