Mike Rowe visits Central Campus for Skilled Trades Academy

As quoted from Mike Rowe,

“Here in Des Moines and a few surrounding counties, there are nearly 3,000 openings that require the mastery of a skill that’s in demand. However, they’re doing something here that’s actually starting to work. Local businesses have helped fund The Skilled Trades Program within Central Campus – a high school that should be a model for high schools all over the country.

Welding, carpentry, nursing, drywall, automotive…all the major trades are represented at Central Campus. The instructors are all top-notch, and the classrooms are outfitted with every imaginable piece of necessary equipment. The result? A pre-apprenticeship program that rivals the best I’ve ever seen. Kids in this program are given a a real-world experience. So real, that their high-school classes in the trades are translating into college credits.

In my opinion, this is the way forward. There’s simply no way the vocational arts are going to reappear in American high schools unless businesses help subsidize the cost. And they’re making it happen in Des Moines.

America’s skills gap now includes over 6.2 million vacant positions – most of which do not require a four-year degree, but rather, the kind of training programs that Des Moines is making a reality. It shouldn’t surprise me anymore, but I am continually baffled by the media’s inability and/or unwillingness to report on solutions like the one I just witnessed. Private business, along with support from the state, are making a persuasive case for the trades to the group that matters most – high school students trying to figure out their best options.

What’s happening in Des Moines is important. It’s important because it’s working. It mustn’t remain a secret. It should be shouted from the mountaintops, shared throughout social media, and replicated wherever people share our collective addiction to smooth roads, reliable electricity, sturdy foundations, and indoor plumbing.” -Mike Rowe

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