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Leading The Charge: Bringing Women Into The Trades

News of the skilled trades gap is in the daily news from every part of the country to places around the world. Great jobs are going unfilled at great companies with the labor shortage becoming more dire each day. Why? For the last 30 years, students have been ushered...

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What’s In It For Them?

In my last blog, I pointed out that in many cases no experience is necessary for people looking at a trade career. Many employers, trade service firms in particular, place a higher value on personality than past experience. As long as you have a mechanical aptitude,...

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The Trades Via A Back Door

Many people who enter the trades go in through the back door. By that I mean they had no intention of looking for a job in the trades, but a job found them. How does that happen? Well, there is a severe shortage of skilled trade workers and that causes many employers...

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Let’s Discuss Marijuana

A growing number of states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, in addition to a long list of states that have approved it for medicinal purposes. Even if you don’t indulge, it’s almost certain that you have been around people who do. One poll found that...

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College vs A Trade: You Can Do Both

Many people in the trades express admiration for the trade apprenticeship programs in Germany and some other European countries. As this article points out, whereas in Germany some 60% of young people train as apprentices in various skilled trades, the comparable...

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You May Be Too Smart For College

Last month the news was filled with reports of federal indictments against dozens of wealthy people who paid big bucks to help their kids cheat or bribe their way into prestigious universities that brag about how selective they are. These schemes involved payouts that...

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Women Are Welcome In The Trades

According to The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWC), women make up 9.1% of the construction workforce. When I first read that statistic, I thought it represented a big jump from previous data I had seen years ago. Upon closer reading, it’s not as...

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Nexstar Legacy Foundation is National Partner of SkillsUSA

The Foundation is excited to announce that we are a national partner of SkillsUSA for 2019 and look forward to being part of the SkillsUSA National Leadership Conference in Louisville, KY from June 24-28, 2019. If you aren’t familiar with SkillsUSA, now is the time to...

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We’ve Become A Society Of Wimps (Part 2)

In my last blog I cited the proliferation of so-called “therapy pets” as a sign that we have become a nation of too easily traumatized wimps. Besides being unable to cope with minor setbacks that are a normal part of day-to-day life, so many people nowadays become...

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We’ve Become A Society Of Wimps (Part 1)

About five years ago my wife and I attended a theater performance in Santa Barbara, California, where a daughter lives and where we spend a couple of winter months each year. We were astonished to see a lady seated a few rows in front of us with a little dog in her...

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The Physical Demands Of Trade Work

I won’t kid you, in general trade work is not as easy on the body as working behind a desk. If you cherish life as a coach potato, then the trades are not for you. Some jobs are more demanding than others. Construction jobs typically require more physical exertion...

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New Year Resolutions

It’s that time of year when so many people resolve to lose weight, stop smoking, eat healthier and so on. These are all worthy agendas. For those of you who aspire to become skilled trade workers – or are thinking of doing so – I have some suggestions for equally...

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Student Debt Has Become A Crisis

I’ve written about crippling student debt several times before in this blog. Mostly I’ve tried to draw attention to the skyrocketing cost of a college education and how it can cripple former students financially for the rest of their lives. This article tackles the...

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Cheaters Can’t Hide In The Trades

Recently, I read a disheartening article about a study conducted by a British university showing a sharp rise in contract cheating by college students worldwide. This refers to students paying someone else to write their assignments. A little web surfing will discover...

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Student Debt: Are You Comfortable With The Consequences?

Sobering statistics: the U.S. Department of Education estimates the cost of a four-year public college averages more than $93,000. If your parents didn’t spend a lifetime saving for it on your behalf, or if you’re not eligible for scholarships, your only option might...

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Digging Deeper Into The Real Costs Of A College Education

Is it possible that your salary after college graduation will be enough to allow you to live comfortably while still paying off your student loans? Many young people are asking that as they think about what to do about college costs. A four-year liberal arts degree...

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Saving For Higher Education

According to The Motley Fool website, recent college graduates began their careers over $37,000 in debt because of education expenses. If you’re just starting high school, you’re only four years away from moving on to higher education. If that’s going to be a...

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The Top Benefits You Need To Know About Apprenticeships

Certain careers – like those in the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC industries – have highly specific educational requirements that just aren’t met with a traditional four-year college degree. These are high-paying jobs that are more suited for an alternative approach....

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Top Five College Majors

For the last 35 years, the Princeton Review has been in business to help high school students get into their dream colleges. It’s safe to say that they have insight into the most popular college majors their high school-age clients are choosing. What’s interesting is...

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Let’s Talk About Tattoos

First, a full disclosure. I’m an old fogey who finds it hard to understand why so many of you younger folks are infatuated with tattoos and body piercings. According to a 2015 Harris Poll, about 47% of people aged 18 to 35 have at least one tattoo; 37% have at...

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Is There A Trade School Trade-Off? Yes, But Only Benefits!

It’s college’s “ugly stepsister.” Many students don’t even consider trade schools as a next-step after high school. Even parents register concerns due to completely misplaced ideas and stereotypes about career opportunities after completion. The truth is that trade...

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Trade Work Will Not Grow Obsolete

Recently I read an article about razor blade companies suffering sales declines due to the popularity of  beards in our culture. That got me thinking about so many businesses and professions that are no longer around due to new technologies or cultural changes. Think...

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Addressing The Skilled Labor Shortage

A recurring theme of this blog has been the dire shortage of skilled trade workers. The news media is filled with reports of this shortage and how it has been holding back construction projects and service companies from doing even more work, like this one. Here’s...

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How To Get Rich

Different people may have different ideas of what it means to be wealthy. To some people, it may mean being worth billions of dollars, like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos or other high-tech entrepreneurs. To reach that level, you need to invent something most of the world...

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The Trades Offer Plenty Of Room For Advancement

When you think about a career in the trades, don’t think that means turning wrenches for the rest of your working life. The skilled trades offer plenty of opportunity for advancement in positions that challenge your intellect, as well as managerial and leadership...

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What’s Your Passion?

A long time ago, I taught essay writing at the University of Illinois in Chicago, my alma mater. Like other instructors, I held office hours for individual student consultations. One day I was meeting with a young man who was the worst student in my class. He had...

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