A recent essay in Time magazine spoke to the dearth of vocational education in our country today. With the advent of No Child Left Behind, the author of the essay, Ken Robinson, argues that instead of job readiness and employability, schools instead focus on testing narrow academic standards.
At UCEC, we are big fans of shop class. We think that North America needs more trained workers who can execute highly-skilled craftsmanship projects; read and annotate detailed schematics; and confidently lead teams to excel in manufacturing.
UCEC Vice President of Operations Evan Coulter says, "Shop class was inspiring. I started during the big shift to computers in classrooms, and it was great to go from that into the real, physical world." The connection between visualizing a project and making it a reality was a valuable lesson for Evan, in addition to practical considerations such as "interacting with machines and other people safely," he notes.
Never one to sit on our laurels, UCEC has an in-house apprentice-style program where our employees choose to work on the fabrication side of the shop or the electrical wiring side. Nevertheless, we would also benefit from a steady stream of vocational graduates familiar with technology and practical collaboration.
Are you a proud shop graduate? Tell us in the comments!