opinion Newport Rhode Island

As a local tradesman I’m exhausted listening to our local officials who aren’t doing anything about our crumbling school systems and the future of our students’ education. 

It’s embarrassing and I feel terrible for the people who actually want to make a change and who are being blatantly ignored. 

As a graduate of Middletown High School (MHS) Class of 2007, I was able to take many trade-oriented courses that have helped me in my professional career.

Middletown used to offer Metal Shop, Wood Shop, Home Economics and Horticulture. These courses are no longer offered or have been greatly reduced from what they used to be. 

I am currently employed as the Head Fabricator and Project Manager at a local Metal Shop, before that I was a Carpenter, and before that I was a Horticulturalist. All of these jobs would not have been possible without the courses I took at MHS.

Those courses allowed me to eventually pursue my chosen career path and attend a Professional Horticulture Program in Pennsylvania where I not only received training in horticulture but I was able to hone my welding, carpentry and culinary skills while attending. 

  There are so many exciting avenues students can take for their higher education. Our high schools today are failing to teach students real life skills and instead put them on a path to crippling student debt and the inability to find a job in their chosen field upon graduation.

Without these vocational programs and trade-oriented electives in our schools we aren’t able to supply our regional workforce, furthermore local businesses will continue to struggle to find competent employees, apprentices and mentees. 

Let’s stop being so politically divided, help one another and start acting like a community that cares about our student’s futures.

-Hudson Kalble

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