Not every high school graduate strives to acquire a four-year degree. The fact is that college just isn’t for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that! There are a significant number of good-paying jobs that apply trade skills, and many that might even pay better than what an average college graduate might make coming out of college.
The unemployment rates are extremely high for Americans right now, and for many, a four-year degree may not be economically feasible. Not only can you make a great living by working in a trade, but young people can also fulfill a growing need that requires skilled tradesmen who specialize in certain occupations. Some of the most common trade jobs are electricians, plumbers, construction equipment operators, electrical repairmen, welders, machinists, crane operators, carpenters, and many other skilled trades in the service industry.
At Weiser High School, Jon Lundberg is an educator that promotes learning solid skillsets in trade skills that students will use all throughout their lives. Lundberg teaches residential carpentry and construction programs. “There are three classes in this program: Carpentry Level 1, Carpentry Level 2, and Carpentry Level 3. The classes start with the very basics of carpentry dealing with safety, measuring, hand tools and power tools. Through the curriculum we progress to the more advanced aspects of the trade. Some of these aspects are: framing fundamentals, exterior finishing, roofing, and interior finishing,” shared Lundberg.
The students build many different things in class. He shared that his classes start small, with shop projects and then work their way up to larger projects like sheds. “In Carpentry Level 3 we typically build for people in the community and charge only for materials. In this class we have built garages, additions, remodels, large sheds, and handicap ramps. When a student finishes all levels of this program, they have a solid skillset in carpentry, ready for employment for a residential builder or to use these skills the rest of their lives,” explained Lundberg. Students also have the opportunity to take the OSHA 10 Construction Safety course available online so that they learn basic safety and health information for entry-level workers in construction and general industry.
“I also teach a robotics class. Students in this class research, brainstorm, design, build, program, test, and compete with their robots against schools across Idaho and the world,” Lundberg commented. With the ever-changing technology of today’s world, an education that includes robotics is highly beneficial. Robotics encourages creativity, critical thinking, and developing new skills. Hands-on learning enhances concentration and attention to detail. This type of class also promotes teamwork and bringing students together to approach a challenge.
Educators are embracing trade skills more and more as students learn to acquire essential skills that will stick with them for a lifetime. Jon Lundberg and his programs are great assets to the students of Weiser High.