Doing A Disservice - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1666786

Doing A Disservice

Let me start by saying: Let’s bring back trade schools.

I’ve been listening to politicians, for years now, saying we need to get more people into college for the higher-paying jobs. Then I hear statistics that say we have record-low unemployment, and 40 percent of college graduates are in jobs that don’t require a college education, and a lot of graduates are not working in their field of study.

So, I wonder why we want to push thousands of more people into mortgage-size debt when the fruits of that effort are so risky.

As I travel around, I see hiring signs on the storefronts and vehicles of trade companies, such as electricians, plumbers and HVAC, despite our low unemployment statistics. These are decent, well-paying jobs that keep our youth in our communities. A commitment to these professions has led many to a very prosperous and enjoyable life. And it starts with no or little debt.

In my experience, it is currently hard to get service from these trades in a timely manner. It is also my experience that the charges are sometimes very exorbitant. This all leads me to believe that the demand is greater than the supply.

By pushing our high school population toward college, we are diverting them from the possibility of a rewarding career in their own community. And, for some, we are doing them a disservice. Not everyone is cut out for college.

If there was an increase in the number of trade companies, the supply would be in better balance with the demand. Competition would lower prices, and homeowners and renters would be left with more money in their pockets for important things like food and health care. Not to mention the huge savings of eliminating a potentially unsuccessful college effort.

So, again I say, let’s bring back trade schools, or at least show our high school up-and-coming graduates the potential of working in these trades. And then, if we ever get the improvement to our infrastructure we’ve been promised for so long, we’ll be ready with the workers to do it.

Ralph Schenk

Westhampton Beach


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