The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 27, 2013

Your View: Tradesmen and teachers both needed

By William G. Campbell Jr.
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — It seems that we have a bunch of airheads in Washington, D.C., and in most or all state capitols.

These people seem to have the misguided idea that all of our children can go to college. This is absolutely untrue.

Children who have the ability and desire to go to college should have an academic program preparatory for college. Those who have the ability but not the desire to go to college should go to a vocational program to learn a useful skill or trade. Those without the ability for college should go into a vocational program to learn a skill or trade. This separation should take place in either the seventh or eighth grade for adequate preparation in their area of endeavor.

A recent article stated that the skilled trade work force is declining because for every three who retire, there is only one replacement. This is a very necessary work force, and in most cases they are paid very well. We need them for work including construction, building repairs and car repairs. One car dealer in Orange County, Calif., sponsors students in auto repair training and hires them on completion. Good auto mechanics can make up to $70 per hour.

Education cannot be legislated. It must be provided by teachers. My entire family are teachers. I am a retired engineering professor, my daughter is a nurse practitioner and teaches at a university and my oldest son teaches math at a university.

We need good skilled tradesman and teachers. They are our key to the future.

William G. Campbell Jr.