Educationally Speaking Educationally Speaking is a five-week WHRV special, produced by Barry Graham and Kathy Martin, that examines the current state of education. This documentary series will feature local interviews about a different topic each week.
Educationally Speaking

Educationally Speaking

From WHRV

Educationally Speaking is a five-week WHRV special, produced by Barry Graham and Kathy Martin, that examines the current state of education. This documentary series will feature local interviews about a different topic each week.

Most Recent Episodes

Apprenticeships in the Skilled Trades Barbara Washer and the Virginia Ship Repair Association

It is a common refrain that is being heard from industry- a sounded alarm regarding the need for skilled trade workers. After decades of seeing fewer students exiting High School and heading into a skilled trade career, there appears to be an emerging shift in the thinking that a successful career must come from a four year degree. Barbra Washer, Director of Development and Programming with the Virginia Ship Repair Association says that the concept of "either go and lean a skilled trade" or " go to school" is no longer relevant- there exists opportunities to "learn on the job" through apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships in the Skilled Trades Barbara Washer and the Virginia Ship Repair Association

WISC- Women in Skilled Careers

In an on-going effort to direct attention to the critical need for skilled trade workers, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council has partnered with employers, community colleges, and WHRO as a part of the Women in Skilled Careers Grant. The program has a multi-faceted approach to solving the issue of poverty in Hampton Roads and also meeting the needs of local maritime industry in recruiting skilled trade workers. Chrstina Brooks, with the Hampton Roads Workforce Council explains that over the past decade, students have not pursed a skilled trade job post high school. Further, as baby boomers retire, their replacements in skilled trades are not being groomed.

Women In Skilled Careers Grant

In an on-going effort to direct attention to the critical need for skilled trade workers, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council has partnered with employers, community colleges, and WHRO to create a program that has a multi-faceted result. Chrstina Brooks, with the Hampton Roads Workforce Council explains how the Women in Skilled Trades (WISC) Grant targets women for work in the skilled trades. The grant seeks to solve the issue of poverty in Hampton Roads and also meet the needs of the local maritime industry in recruiting skilled trade workers.

Communities in Schools in Hampton Roads

Communities in Schools in Hampton Roads is a national based program that has anchored in several schools to provide services for at risk students. Development Director Linda Dyer explains why the initiative works best when they are established in the elementary and middle schools. This allows the program to devote services to students early in their education. Studies indicate that students who leave High School without graduating are more likely to end up living in poverty than those who finish their education.

Communities in Schools in Hampton Roads

Communities in Schools in Hampton Roads

Communities in Schools of Hampton Roads represents the emerging paradigm that schools must step forward to offer more than just academic study, but must meet all the needs of its students. Development Director Linda Dyer discusses how community organizations offer their assistance and insight to help students with life skills. Banks come in to present financial literacy techniques. Academic assistance, nutritional information, career preparation, and college entrance assistance are all critical elements of the program. The idea behind the program is a scaffolding approach. Students learn these skills and then take them home and display them to family and community members. Communities in schools mobilize resources to meet all the needs of its students and has a 97% graduation rate.

Communities in Schools in Hampton Roads

Communities in Schools

This week on Educationally Speaking, we discuss Communities in Schools, a national initiative that has established programs within some Hampton Roads schools. The program is built around the staggering fact that in the United States, one in five children under the age of 18 live in poverty, which has a direct impact upon their ability to focus on learning. Communities in Schools works inside targeted schools with resources to help educators meet the needs of its students. Linda Dyer, who works with the local chapter, discusses the goals of the program and how it directly impacts student lives by building relationships that help them to succeed both within and outside the classroom.

Pathways into the field

Educationally Speaking Producers Paul Bibeau and Barry Graham review pathways to employment into the skilled trades. Recently, Dr. Quintin Kidd of Christopher Newport University commissioned a survey of Peninsula residents to determine their attitudes towards the skilled trades and how the view of prestige affects parent encouragement of their children into specific occupations and careers. Anne Lessear and Sherry Miles Foley were profiled as two workers who followed their passion into the skilled trades. Also, Dr. Susan English of Thomas Nelson Community College discussed the Workforce Grant "Fast Forward" which provides tuition assistance to obtain a trade certification. The shortage in workers has caused growing alarm in the manufacturing and construction sectors as industry leaders indicate their ability to get skilled workers into the job pipeline. National and State level leaders are encouraging schools to advance skill-based training that does not require a college degree.

Higher Education and the Trade Skills Shortage

Today, we conclude our discussion with Dr. Quintin Kidd of the Judy Wason Center for Public Policy at CNU. Recently, Dr. Kidd conducted a survey of Peninsula residents on their perception of prestige and the skilled trades. Dr. Kidd found that there is a cultural bias against traditional skilled trade work and parents usually will encourage their children towards professional jobs like doctors and lawyers. He says that our public education and their lack of vocational training is one factor in the decline of available skilled trade workers that industry leaders are increasingly having difficulty in recruiting. Another factor is in higher education- Dr. Kidd says the number of four year institutions that focus upon liberal arts could be a cause for the decline. As college costs have exploded over the past decade, some students are graduating with what has been termed " crippling debt" – with debt at times going over 100,000 dollars for a four year degree. And, as Dr. Kidd points out, this cost is not going to go down. However, the earning potential for some skilled trades is going up and with no or minimal associated debt in getting the certification. Kidd says, parents and students are having to face this reality.

Higher Education and the Trade Skills Shortage

Factors Affecting The Skilled Trade Shortage

It is well documented that public schools have neglected vocational education which has greatly contributed to the lack of skilled trade qualified workers. Dr. Quintin Kidd of CNU said other factors have also contributed, including the decline in American manufacturing and outsourcing of work. However, the ultimate challenge to increase skilled trade workers lies with educational institutions. Dr. Kidd says the degrees and focus of higher education needs to change and colleges which are deeply rooted in liberal arts might need to rethink its focus.

Factors Affecting The Skilled Trade Shortage

Should Schools and Segments of Society Shift Their Focus to Vocational Education?

This Week, Educationally Speaking continues its conversation with Dr. Quintin Kidd of Christopher Newport University and his view on the skilled trade shortage both nationally and within Hampton Roads. Recently, Dr. Kidd commissioned a survey of Peninsula residents to determine their attitudes towards the skilled trades and how the view of prestige affects parent encouragement of their children into specific occupations and careers. The shortage in workers has caused growing alarm in the manufacturing and construction sectors as industry leaders indicate their ability to get skilled workers into the job pipeline. National and State level leaders are encouraging schools to advance skill-based training that does not require a college degree. However, this would require schools to reverse their current college prep based curriculum.

Should Schools and Segments of Society Shift Their Focus to Vocational Education?

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