Thursday, December 10, 2020

Appreciation For Skilled Trades Workers

     Yesterday saw the completion of a wall board repair project in this study where I am writing this post.  After a completely botched job by a previous tradesperson, our new worker did an amazing job.  In just a few hours over two days we have a very satisfactory outcome.   All this has reminded me to appreciate skilled persons in the various trades.  Be it electricians, plumbers, masons, metalworkers, or various kinds of mechanicians.    I know from experience that I am what is called "a jack of all trades but a master of none".   I'm an engineer and although I probably have a deeper understanding of structures and machines than the trades people, I certainly cannot execute the designs as well as they can.  In summary I really appreciate the work of skilled people.   By the way our most recent experience underscored that diversity in the work force is a boon.   Traditionally big burly dudes often are the vision of people in the trades.  However in our recent project we had a slightly built woman that worked wonders!  Liberation!  I especially appreciate the removal of stereotypes since we have two daughters who are engineers.  Both were pioneers in breaking the stereotypic barriers to success as civil and electrical engineers.

    I had a long active career as an engineering professor and certainly value higher level education.   However a college education is not the path for everyone.   As a society and a country we desperately need qualified and skilled doers!   People who can fix and build things!   During this coming ski season, I surely will be calling on the ski mechanics to sharpen and tune my skis!

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