Tuesday, 11 February 2014

If One has Skills

Excerpt from Fine Wood Working Magazine 1979
 They were interviewing legendary craftsman George Nakashima, Japanese American.

FWW:   What do you say to a young person who wants to be­ come a woodworker?

   "That happens so often, we have a waiting list of maybe 300, and I say to them we aren't taking on any­ body. . . .It cost me maybe $500 a month to break in a new man, I'm out of pocket that, and then if he goes in two years I'm out maybe five or ten thousand dollars, and very often he doesn't even say thank you. 
  I'm not in that kind of position, so I tell them the thing to do is go to some craft school like Rhode Island, or the best is to go to Germany or Japan where they have real apprenticeship programs, and several people have taken me up on that.
  There's so many of the young wanting to do that, but it's almost all completely romantic, they have no idea of what is involved, what they're getting into and actually what they want. 
  Skills are maybe the finest resources any nation can have, and we don't have that in this country and that's why things are getting so bad. This country (USA) prides itself on automobiles and can't even make a decent automobile, a sad situation. Whereas if one has skills, one could make the slums bloom with no money at all, simply by work and skills. " 

  Still resounds with truth today, not only in the US but at home here as well.

  Just look around at all the unemployed youth. Our education system does not have a viable solution.
Anything learned in class must have a path that leads to some way to use what has been learned or it is useless as Latin in the checkout line. 
The government is announcing plans for big apprenticeship programs to help youth. But I fear what was learned must be relearned in order to perform the tasks of the apprentice. To little to late?
Thanks for reading

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