There’s been a lot of conversation about students who might be interested in hands-on work being made to feel that choosing academia is a better route for their future. And we’ve all got to take some responsibility for that way of thinking. Our culture seems to value air-conditioned office workers over those paving roads because we somehow think one job is more important than the other.
Hopefully, the pendulum on this mindset is swinging back toward the middle, but that’s going to take all of us consciously shifting our thoughts, actions, and words. The construction industry itself is doing a lot of work to instill pride and professionalism in its members. We have to acknowledge that some of the current reputation of a construction worker isn’t just because of ignorant stereotypes.
As consumers, we need to think about the humanity of the people we hire to work in our homes, of those who keep our infrastructure maintained, of those who work the jobs we might not be able or willing to do. How do we treat them? Are we dismissive, condescending, or are they invisible to us? Do our words and attitudes portray to those around us that we value all honest work and those who do it?
As educators, mentors, community members, we need to recognize the value that hands-on workers bring to our world. Without carpenters, plumbers, technicians, road crews, line workers, and other trades people, we’re all going to be living in mass-produced, unstable, pop-up boxes.
Let’s commit to valuing the satisfaction and reward of work that’s well-done – whether our student or friend chooses a desk or a jobsite for their career path. Our homes, business, and infrastructure depend on it. #QualifiedLabor #LocalCraftsmanship #Hands-onWork #WomenInConstruction