Spent a couple days in Greensboro for the New York Times photographing what has become a bit of a battlefield in the college or not wars.
Many high schools have cut back on their vocational training classes over the last few years as the push to get all kids into four year colleges has increased. But now, by some estimates, 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the US, some are questioning whether we should be sending all kids to college, whether they are fit for it or not.
The story focused on Matt Kelly who was failing high school until he went to Weaver Academy, a magnet high school, where he could take metal work, car repair and carpentry classes as well as finish his standard education. He excelled and now has a scholarship to go to a 2 year associate’s program at a local community college where he will be trained to hopefully work one of the many highly skilled machining jobs in the area.
The job took me from Weaver Academy, to Guilford Technical Community College, above, where they train folks to enter the manufacturing world, and then to a local company which makes parts for the military and NASA, to name a couple.
An interesting and timely topic, and I know from experience, that some folks just ain’t cut out for college, at least not right away, and a trade can take you a long way until you are ready to figure out how you are going to spend the rest of your life.