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 In my opinion, new-home construction is an outdated method for teaching skilled tradespeople.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.

Amanda Tolbard


(11) comments


We are a city with many old houses. Not to mention the Historic District and the requirements the city put on it to maintain the historic integrity. We sorely lack people with trade skillls to keep those houses maintained. Great thoughts here.


Correct kfmd. Talk to any of the guys working around downtown. One I know presently working on 4th St told me he's fully booked through the whole of 2022. These guys can make $100k/yr+ demand is so strong. And they tell you they wouldn't do anything else it is so satisfying -- although rough in the depths of winter and the heights of summer.


Are the labor unions going to allow this? And minimum wage laws?


My Dad taught me how to do those things for the first 18 years of my life. From planting a garden to putting new brakes on a car to building a rabbit hutch and a million more useful skills, sometimes reluctantly on my part but much appreciated as I grew older.






There should be a required "life" class in about tenth grade. everything from how to use a variety of tools, do some simple/common things, and budgets/loans etc..


Agreed shiftless. Too many kids come out of school without understanding basic household finances, including the effects of compound interest on loans. Knowing how to cook a meal, fix a leaky pipe, calk a drafty window, unclog a sink/toilet, etc. should be common knowledge.




Ms. Tolbard,

Excellent suggestion. No matter what occupation you choose in life basic home maintenance will benefit almost all. Construction [peaks and ebbs but maintenance is always needed. That also applies for an occupation. We may face moratoriums in building or economic slowdowns but general maintenance is always needed.



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