January 15, 2019

Talking About the Trades

As we build awareness and talk to the CTE ( Career Technical Education) Directors at our schools, one of the challenges recognized by all players is what I like to call the “Parent Paradigm Shift”. In short, a student comes home, excited about a lecture he/she heard about the construction trades, and the parents provide doubt/negative opinions/objections/talk them out of it, often providing quite inaccurate assessments and dated information, and in stronger words, sometimes unfair biases and prejudices.

Recently, NC Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) published an editorial in the Washington Post on this very subject entitled “Stop Calling it Vocational Training.” I invite you to read her take on it.

I don’t want to get too long-winded here, but I am eliciting your help in finding creative solutions to start to erode this roadblock. There are some deep-set thought processes on this subject with many parents that are hard to chip away. No idea on this subject is a bad idea! We won’t fix overnight what has now been established for at least a couple of generations, but all of you are industry insiders and prob ably have some great thoughts. Send them to Lucas Schwinn, HBA Director of Education, and me.

Ross Britton is the HBA VP of Education & Workforce Development. He is the Managing Partner at US Ecologic and a NAHB lifetime Spike.