I was glad to see the Career and Technology Center program spotlighted recently in The News-Post (Student-built house in Walkersville nearing finish line). It is true that on-the-job work experience is quite valuable, and those CTC students are gaining important, marketable skills for their future.
Moving forward, CTC raises concern for finding future building lots, however. In my opinion, new-home construction is an outdated method for teaching skilled tradespeople. More importantly, it is time to revamp the program to include a more diverse population in trades.
High school students (male and female) looking to work on their own, get out of an office, get paid well, and have the opportunity to help others can all be achieved by working in a trade. In the future, instead of building a new home, why not work with Habitat for Humanity to serve a local need? In the future, why not have the students work with current FCPS staff to fix a toilet, change HVAC filters, fix a light, hang a shelf or remodel a room?
I am sure that there are teachers and school administrators in this county that could offer some suggestions. In addition, there are so many skills that CTC could teach a variety of students not interested in working in a trade full time but will one day need as a homeowner. It's way past time for CTC trades to build a program that will serve all students and provide some well-needed home maintenance experience. Yes, it's true that specialized work experience is important to a future trade employer. However, as an owner of a skilled-trade company, it is more important to have a good attitude, willingness to learn and good work ethic.