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A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

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  • 09.11.14

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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Support people early on: Avoid increasing poverty through neglect

File under: poverty, job training, education, jobs, future vision

0 (0 votes)

From: E G., Eden Prairie, MN

There are obviously several reasons for and causes of poverty. Stemming poverty has multiple parts:

Prongs

Focus on people now in poverty and people who are broken and will end up in poverty or breed more future poverty. Keeping the problem manageable is crucial, otherwise we will never catch up. We will never mitigate the circumstances of poverty. Change what we can change. Adapt.

Driver's ed and maps

People in poverty need a toolkit and road map, in the event they can be self-actualized to work their way out.

The young and healthy, for example, may mostly need a framework for how to succeed. They have a lifetime ahead of them. If left to flounder, they could add to the poverty problem. Instead, nip it in the bud by teaching them.

Toolkits and tire patches

Getting a handle on poverty requires addressing people's hope and entire worldview before they become jaded and learn bad habits, or become victims acted upon in society. Patch them up enough to contribute to their own exodus from poverty.

Roads

Then we have to create some options. This should be apparent to anyone whose world has been rocked in the current economic recession.

Obviously, if there are no jobs or educational opportunities,

looking for work or trying to become educated is a dead end for many people.

Education

Remote learning is important in this.

We don't need the overhead of brick and mortar schools as much as we used to. This should make it more affordable to acquire some basic skill sets and enhance the skill set of older workers. And, it is a better use of time than commuting to and from those edifices.

Two years of community college for the population, or prepping students to make them ready for college is essential in the future -- for people in poverty, and for citizens who are the support structure for these unfortunate people.

Future workers are expected to change careers four to five times in a lifetime, yet there is no versatile preparation that facilitates such career changes without returning someone to the bottom rung in his or her new field. Everyone needs to be versatile, because anyone could fall into poverty or near poverty.


Comments:

American RadioWorks |
A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

Recent Posts

  • 09.17.14

    A company short on skilled workers creates its own college-degree program

    At a Toyota plant in Kentucky, young people are learning how to fix robots, earning associate's degrees and graduating with jobs that pay up to $80,000 a year.
  • 09.11.14

    A 21st-century vocational high school

    For years, vocational education was seen as a lesser form of schooling, tracking some kids into programs that ended up limiting their future opportunities. Today, in the nation's best vocational programs, things are different.
  • 09.10.14

    Career academies: A new twist on vocational ed

    Across the country, thousands of high schools are transforming into career academies. The idea is that students will be more engaged if they see how academics are connected to the world of work. And they’ll be more likely to get the postsecondary schooling they need to support themselves in today’s economy.
  • 09.09.14

    The troubled history of vocational education

    Vocational education was once used to track low-income students off to work while wealthier kids went to college. But advocates for today's career and technical education say things have changed, and graduates of vocational programs may have the advantage over graduates of traditional high schools.