Wellness & Well-being Highlights
Week of March 19, 2023
This week’s edition of our Worker Wellness & Well-being blog consists of topics from the mental health of workers and students to Moms seeking work-life balance to how to grieve in a healthy manner. Today, I wish to shed some light on how apprenticeships are now being viewed by high school students as legitimate alternatives to the “college-for-all” mantra the US has hitched its wagon to for the past 30+ years. Having served on the US Secretary of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA) from 2003-2010, I can attest that the seeds we planted 20 years ago are finally bearing fruit. If one reviews the details of the student debt issue, you will soon find that a good portion of this debt is from community college students…most of which never earned an Associate’s degree. While college may not be for all at the age of 18, I for one, do believe that most workers “eventually” gain much needed leadership skills by attending college once they hone in on their career choice. This is why I have advocated for emulating the European model of apprenticeships since 2004 (Google: Bayless Floor Layers Middle Apprenticeship Program). Wherein, the focus is on apprenticeships at the secondary level of education. Thus, graduating high school students with job-ready skill sets! In closing, I suspect with the rise of STEM at the secondary and post-secondary levels, it has become less bitter (and less costly) for many parents to accept the importance of hands-on education which, in turn, helps temper the age-old stigma of vocational education.