By Alyssa Edmunds
When I was in high school, industrial arts and technical skills classes were available, but there was no incentive for students planning on going to college to enroll in them. Why? Because they were not graded on an honors scale and would consequently lower your GPA. This is unfortunate because several of my former classmates in my honors classes are going to college for engineering. Rather than take an industrial arts class that would be more applicable to their careers, these students would opt to take another advanced-placement history class just to pump up their GPAs.
According to an article by ABC6, there have been more efforts to help young people sharpen their resumes with technical skills. In fact, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D, Ohio) organized a weeklong summer program to encourage teenagers to pursue a career in manufacturing. In this program, kids partake in hands-on training to learn more about industrial trades.
While most schools don’t have the classes or resources to equip students with manufacturing skills, students can attend a vocational school or career center. Brown states that blue-collar workers with this skill set are well compensated in salary and benefits.
Hearing that my senator is working to equip future generations with technical skills to make them more competitive in the workforce makes me proud to be an Ohioan. I hope that local governments and school boards follow his lead and incentivize students to expand their skill set in this area. Even better would be the introduction of advanced placement courses in industrial arts.
Alyssa Edmunds is Chemical Processing’s social media intern and a student at The Ohio State University. She is studying Actuarial Science. She hopes to throw her hat in the political ring and push for change just like Sen. Brown.