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
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.