Changes In College Education

February 6, 2015

For many years the collective wisdom of guidance councilors in high schools across the nation have placed an emphasis on the importance of getting into college and obtaining a degree. Each year many optimistic young Americans walk across the stage to receive that all important diploma, expecting it to be a surefire ticket to economic success. However, more and more our graduates are learning that this is not always the case. Many of them are saddled with insurmountable debt from loans or have a difficult time finding a job in their field.

As a result of the emphasis on college programs, the teaching of industrial arts have declined, and many students have been led to believe that woodworking positions were dead end, low paying jobs.

In a recent report by Jerry Jasinowski, the former president of the National Association of Manufacturers, he discussed a plan by the Obama Administration to set up a college rating system. This system would measure whether graduates would earn enough money after leaving school to live above poverty level, and if they would have the ability to pay off their college debt. Jerry has been a long-time advocate for manufacturing and he has realized the importance of developing a comprehensive national education system that directs students towards obtaining skills for real world jobs.

One such program is the Wood Career Alliance. This program offers woodworking students and employees actual skill training and evaluation on a wide variety of machines and programs. Another great system is theNorthCentralTechnicalCollegein Antigo, WI that offers students a broad background in many of the mid-level jobs available in the woodworking industry. Lastly, thePittStateWood Technology Program at theUniversityofPittsburgin KS. This highly recognized 4 year program offers students practical experience in all phases of the woodworking industry from wood science through plant management. They also boast a 100% student placement record.

We're urging all of our readership to start working in the local school systems to help make potential employees aware of woodworking careers available at their facility or in the area. If you have any questions please contact Jerry Jasinowski,3228 Rittenhouse St. NW,WashingtonD.C., or email him at jjasinowski@msn.com.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Philip Bibeau at WPMA 978-874-5445 for more information.

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