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This Way Up: Mobility in America [Alive for Americans who pursue technical or practical training]
Wall Street Journal ^ | 07/18/2014 | Tamar Jacoby

Posted on 07/19/2014 6:05:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Dakota Blazier had made a big decision. Friendly and fresh-faced, from a small town north of Indianapolis, he'd made up his mind: He wasn't going to college.

"I discovered a long time ago," he explained, "I'm not book smart. I don't like sitting still, and I learn better when the problem is practical." But he didn't feel this limited his options—to the contrary. And he was executing a plan as purposeful as that of any of his high-school peers.

It started in his junior year with release time from high school to take a course in basic construction skills at a craft training center run by the Associated Builders and Contractors. The next step was an internship with a local contractor, Gaylor Electric.

This summer, he's at Gaylor full time, earning $10 an hour plus credits he can apply at the ABC training center, where he intends to return this fall for a four-year apprenticeship. Mr. Blazier, 18, beamed as he explained his plan. This was no fallback, no desperate Hail Mary pass. It was a thoughtful choice—and he was as proud and excited as if he were heading off to the Ivy League.

College-educated Americans tend to know mostly other college-educated Americans and to think that is the norm, if not universal. In fact, just three in 10 Americans age 25 or older have bachelor's degrees. Another 8% are high-school dropouts, leaving the overwhelming majority—more than 60%—in circumstances something like Mr. Blazier's.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Society
KEYWORDS: jobs; mobility; technical

1 posted on 07/19/2014 6:05:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I believe in vocational training.
I believe in apprenticeships.
I believe in on the job training.
I respect craftmanship and skilled trades.

The guy is this article is currently earning $10 an hour.

Hey, you have to start somewhere, so I can’t criticize that too much, but I’m really not sure he’s on a sure path to the middle class. And that’s not his fault. Our society does not make it easy to enter the middle class without the paper credentials. And once people are in the middle class, the government relentlessly punishes them for their achievements.

We have deep structural problems in our society. Blithely saying that technical or practical training provides an upward path, is glossing over some significant flaws in our system.

2 posted on 07/19/2014 6:17:32 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy ("Harvey Dent, can we trust him?"
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To: SeekAndFind

A very interesting article showing that initiative is the prerequisite for success— no amount of ability will compensate for a lack of initiative. I wonder how many of the people mentioned in the article are conservative as opposed to being liberal.

3 posted on 07/19/2014 6:20:10 AM PDT by GunsareOK
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To: GunsareOK

RE: no amount of ability will compensate for a lack of initiative.


Read this story of Erica Price,43, a single mom who once lived with her daughter in a homeless shelter and how she pulled herself out of her funk.

4 posted on 07/19/2014 6:33:06 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (If at first you don't succeed, put it out for beta test.)
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To: SeekAndFind

An interesting trend is afoot, driven by HR departments, for profit technical schools and colleges, and (surprise, surprise), the Federal government. Certifications have become more important than degrees in the hiring game. Even where degrees are required, certifications often are the hiring discriminator. This has been true of the IT world for some time, but is rapidly expanding across many professions.

Non traditional colleges have discovered that they can make money offering short term certification courses often costing $1,000 to $3,000 each. Multiple certifications are becoming common for savvy candidates. The Federal government has made these certifications a common requirement for contractors bidding on Federal contracts. It makes it easy to screen applicants for certain skills. It’s also a way to turn that degree in Ancient Greek into something that is actually marketable.

These are not $10 per hour jobs. People with a PMP (Program Manager Professional) earn six figures and most others put you in the top two quartiles of the Bureaus of Labor Statistics wage surveys for any given job category.

Go get certifications, young man.

5 posted on 07/19/2014 6:39:28 AM PDT by centurion316
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To: SeekAndFind

Great story. Let’s pray we read many more stories like Erica’s.

6 posted on 07/19/2014 6:43:51 AM PDT by Comment Not Approved (When bureaucrats outlaw hunting, outlaws will hunt bureaucrats.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Universities hate men, whites and being straight, so for those who fall into all three of those categories its easy to be disillusioned with entities isolated and genuinely hostile to commerce.

7 posted on 07/19/2014 6:49:47 AM PDT by gaijin
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To: ClearCase_guy

That’s something I respect Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs”, his effort to bring back skilled trades education as respectable.

8 posted on 07/19/2014 7:44:38 AM PDT by tbw2
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