I recently heard a Governor speaking about his support for the Trades, apprenticeships, and people who “work with their hands”. It bothered me.
In fact, it stuck with me, for weeks now.
Why? Because I have worked with electricians nearly all my professional life and I HATE this characterization of tradespeople.
WHY? Because I know how smart they are- and that they will do more math in an average workday than most people do all year.
“She’s biased” you’re thinking. Well, not untrue- so let me flip this another way. Would you refer to a surgeon as a “profession that works with it’s hands”. Hmmm. Yes, yes I would.
But we don’t.
It’s leftover stigma. It’s archaic language, and we should all stop using it. At the end of the day a medical student is “apprenticing” after a fashion, and will work with their hands. Hands on training is misleading. Trades people are not only working with their hands- if they were every elevator in the country would be a death trap.
Blueprint reading and layout, lighting loads, wind calculations, circuit loads, motor controls, alarm systems, fire detection, data center wiring, and more- much more- require careful thought and planning. When they do what they do accurately, everything operates at the flip of a switch and buildings don’t burn down…
Support the Trades and Apprenticeship because it’s important. Support it because all of you depend on these skills to do whatever it is YOU do. Support it because you should want the best and brightest in the Trades.
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VP Business Development, IEC Chesapeake