STEM. Questions. Good News. A Hero. Anatoly.

Trade And Vocational Schools. End Of April Questions. Saving The Day. So Funny, So Strong.

  • STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. Trade-oriented instruction at the high school level and beyond was usually reserved for boys and young men, and to a degree, to groups of students seen as low achieving or low ability. This dynamic, dovetailed with many school systems reducing or eliminating traditional vocational offerings, has put the U.S. labor market in a precarious situation. As the world, and hopefully the U.S., move forward with solar electric, solar thermal, and geothermal systems, the alarm has gone off with the lack of tradespeople who are trained to install and service these types of systems. Electricians, plumbers, and other construction-related trades will be more essential as we move forward, and there are many critical issues with providing young people the essential training to eventually fill millions of available jobs.

I feel strongly that the “valorizing” of white-collar jobs has gone off the rails. We have put an emphasis on tech workers and the so-called knowledge economy. As we have all experienced, the tech world has again changed quickly, with most tech-related entities laying off workers and right-sizing their workforce, while the trade-related businesses are begging for workers to support their increasing workloads. A startling statistic from Stanley Black & Decker: In 2022, there were six hundred and fifty thousand unfilled jobs in construction-related trades in the United States, and ten million worldwide. From a personal standpoint, I had my car serviced last week. When I picked up my car, I briefly spoke to the owner of the car service and repair center. She told me that they are desperately looking for auto mechanics, offering $37 per hour, and cannot find anyone to interview. She told me she went to list the job on Indeed, but there were already fifteen pages of listings for auto mechanics – just in the central Florida area. Yes, we have a problem and one that is going to cause big issues as we move forward with 21st century technologies. Investing in vocational schools may be a smart play.

I Have Ten Questions For the End of April:

  • Is the conflict in Sudan a war between two Generals, or a proxy war involving Russia and the United States?
  • Is anyone up for another Covid booster?
  • Thank you, CNN. With that said, does anyone really care where Don Lemon and Tucker Carlson end up?
  • Were there no checks and balances or redundancy allowing a lower-level intelligence officer to download and steal classified documents?
  • Is the smell of cannabis wafting the New York City area not better than the smell of garbage – especially on a hot, summer day?
  • Many are taking the Netflix series “The Diplomat” too seriously. Can we not just enjoy the writing and plot without questioning the political semantics?
  • It is day 432 of the Russia-Ukraine war. How long will Vladimir Putin’s collateral damage continue with the sovereign nation of Ukraine?
  • Does anyone have a phone that folds?
  • What economic indicator is your barometer to forecast the near-term economy? One of mine is truck traffic as it is a forward-looking indicator, as trucks move products before consumers spend money. My other positive economic indicator is airport growth. For example, the Sarasota-Bradenton airport is the fastest growing airport in the country. There must be some strong economic indicators in southwest Florida.
  • With all the negative news we see/read daily, how can we reward this young man, who saved the day (and some lives) with his calm and heroic action?

  • You have to smile when you watch former world-class Ukrainian powerlifter Vladimir Shmondenko, who introduces himself to gym rats with the name “Anatoly.” Posing as a custodian, Shmondenko pranks the strong and mighty in a very funny way. At one time, Shmondenko was deemed, pound-for-pound, one of the strongest men worldwide. His acting and mannerisms are priceless, and the reactions from the people he interrupts are very funny.

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and have a Funday Sunday!

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