Conversations with a Founder: The Didactron

In writing Hats Off for the Skilled Land Force, I was still uncertain of just how far Rural System proposes to go in aiding employees. But once again, demonstrating values that go far beyond mere profit, Dr. Giles proposes to make Land Force personnel more employable by providing educational opportunities.

I was sitting across the table from him in Our Daily Bread, a nice cafe in Blacksburg, VA, lamenting at some of the problems with the education system in the U.S.

Me: You’d think that education would be about preparing students to become competent, skilled, critically thinking professionals in their field of interest. Instead people are forced to learn a smattering of gen. eds. in high school that only, well, generally prepare them for college and not much else. the_didactron

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Hats Off for the Skilled Land Force

Two Roofers

A student and a supervisor rebuilding a roof at Warren Wilson College.

Between the intensive sampling called for in managing alpha units and all the work of implementing prescriptions, Rural System would need to employ a great many people. This “Land Force” would be comprised of interested and skilled local workers, and would hopefully attract budding tradespeople back to rural places. Some people might think “oh, that won’t be hard. There are plenty of people who need jobs right?” Wrong.  In reality, skilled trades are the number one most difficult job to fill in America and worldwide. There is a subtle prejudice and ignorance prevalent in American society today, and it has everything to do with our now-flooded higher education system. [Read more…]