Now is the time to prioritize investment in the also truly essential: skilled trade and craft work and their educational pathways.
By Jeff Moran
COVID-19 has hopefully by now made it painfully clear just which jobs (and the education and training to get and keep those jobs) are essential for the American economy. Health aids, nurses, and doctors…yeah, we all get that. But what about skilled trade and craft jobs in construction and manufacturing and the related services fields?
Our political leaders have a lot going on right now. And prioritizing investments in education and creating implementing policy appears to be one of them. But where and how much should national, state, and local leaders in government and industry invest their precious resources? My sense is there seems to be quite a bit of inertia to continue promoting four-year degree programs and to effectively stigmatize technical skilled work and their education pathways. But doesn’t our shared COVID experience tell us all that this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for the nation?
To come to your own conclusion, take a look at the 8 minute and 40 second piece below, which aired on PBS on February 18, 2021. It features an interview with Mike Rowe of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. Mike is a popular TV personality and an apparently compelling social and economics issues advocate now.
I believe the piece helps make an excellent case that, if American leaders in business and government truly want to promote investment in essential education as a means to improve the economy, and post-COVID national prospects generally, now is the time to give more favorable consideration to skilled trade and craft work programs than has been the norm, and INVEST, INVEST, INVEST.
From my vantage point, Mike Rowe is clearly and OBVIOUSLY correct in his advocacy. I’m biased of course, I’ve been to trade school and earned a technical diploma myself. As a business leader vested in the success of construction and manufacturing and the related service industries, I would go a bit further and say leaders in business and government need to really lean in on this, make it personal, and do much more and more quickly than perhaps ever to de-mystify and de-stigmatize skilled trade and craft jobs, and the educational pathways associated with them. If you agree, would you then, at the very least, share the a link to this to help build awareness and consensus for concerted leadership action?
Jeff Moran is founder of TSM Worldwide LLC (TSM). TSM delivers specialized management and technical services for commercial business and government in situations where skilled trade and craft team members are essential and make the difference all day, everyday. TSM’s aim is to help clients collaborate, cooperate, compete, win, perform, and succeed as their construction & manufacturing management services partner of choice. TSM is also a service-disabled veteran-owned small business located in a historically underutilized business zone.