Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this morning. There are some smart alternatives to college. Read the article and evaluate your situation. If you know someone who might benefit from reading it, pass it on.

A snippet of the column is below. The full article can be accessed at the link in the post title above or the article title below.


Contractors, Unions
Try Web, Schools;
A 'Dirty Jobs' Role


Even as the economy slumps and unemployment rises, strong demand for power plants, oil refineries and export goods has many manufacturers and construction contractors scrambling to find enough skilled workers to plug current and future holes.

With the shortage of welders, pipe fitters and other high-demand workers likely to get worse as more of them reach retirement age, unions, construction contractors and other businesses are trying to figure out how to attract more young people to those fields.

Their challenge: overcoming the perception that blue-collar trades offer less status, money and chance for advancement than white-collar jobs, and that college is the best investment for everyone.

  • Choosing a path [Goal] and perusing it is important
  • Being a price maker [skilled / talented] is better than being a price taker [unskilled / commodity]
  • Aging of the work force is happening in most areas of the employment. Maybe even more so for skilled trades as there is probably a limit to how many people will work past 60, 62, 65 in blue collar career. Knowledge workers do not face the physical toll 40+ years of labor places on the body. They will work past retirement in some capacity. [consulting, part time, special projects etc]
  • Skilled trades are valuable. There is a strong financial reward for people with the right skills / talent.
  • College and university are not the only path to prosperity.
  • The trade associations need to do a much better job communicating that their career opportunities are competitive with those being pushed by "Big Education."
  • Dusty Henry has the right attitude and he will be successful [Step #1 Find a goal Step #2 pursue goal]
What are your thoughts?

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