Our view: Building future employees

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Our view

Moffat County Work and Life Skills program has potential, but needs elbow grease to make it reality.

Editor's Note: Craig Daily Press Publisher Bryce Jacobson excused himself from this editorial board discussion because he is a coalition member.

For many students, reading, writing and math aren't enough.

Editorial board members believe high school students need to learn how to balance a checkbook, count back change and, in some cases, care for their personal hygiene, before being jettisoned from school into the workplace.

The board applauds the Moffat County Work and Life Skills Coalition for looking to teach these and other skills to high school students in a program beginning next month.

As required by the grant funding the coalition, the program also must attempt to prevent out-of-wedlock pregnancy among class attendants.

The board believes social and economic aspects of this course are necessary for Moffat County students. Still, this program's success, like that of many other well-meaning projects, isn't guaranteed.

It's going to take quality instructors and planning to make it work in the long run.

In regard to the social aspect, board members acknowledged that there are many ways to teach about marriage and sex. One board member was in favor of telling students about all the options available for preventing unwanted pregnancy, including birth control. Others agreed, adding that sex education shouldn't be limited to abstinence-only education.

On the other hand, board members acknowledged that parents could take a different view.

In any case, many resources are available to steer students away from unwed pregnancies, and the board believes the coalition should examine all of them.

As concerns the program's work skills education, board members agreed the program success relies on one element: instructors.

Many projects like the Work and Life Skills program are commendable in theory but, for various reasons, fail when put into practice.

The coalition's success largely depends on who steps up to teach classes on work force skills.

The coalition should invite community members and local business personnel to teach program classes. Bringing in speakers close to students' age to talk about their experiences - good and bad - concerning the work force and pregnancy should be another option.

Regardless of who's chosen to teach those classes, students' input should be an integral part of the program. The editorial board commends the coalition for recently asking high school students what benchmarks program students should meet to earn a laptop - the top incentive.

The editorial board gives equal praise to these students for saying program participants should have 100 percent participation to earn the prize.

That's the kind of attitude more workers in this community need: no excuses, no "what-ifs."

Yet, even if all students in the program participate fully, the editorial board foresees a possible future hang-up.

What happens to students when they leave the program?

Instead of just cutting participants free, the program should give students options to build on what they've learned in the program. Giving students a chance to enter Distributive Education Clubs of America, a high school marketing and business program, is one option.

Placing students in a job placement program is another.

The coalition and the community also need to think about the future, as well.

If the Work and Life Skills Program proves successful, steps should be taken to make it sustainable.

But even if the program as a whole isn't successful, the coalition should evaluate what parts of the course did work and draft plans to implement those components in another way.

As a whole, the editorial board sees that this program has potential.

The next task: turning potential into reality.

Comments

native_craig_guy 6 years ago

It was my understanding that the coailition was supposed to prepare kids for the real world. There is a gap between what kids are used to in public education and what they need to survive in the real world. Lets not place an undue amount of responsibility onto the schools or the coalition. It is my firm belief that parents have the lion's share of responsibility in conveying what the real world demands. Sure it will help if there is a long term organization like the coalition to help with this but lets face it. I learned about work ethic from my father and my mother. Who have both worked extremely hard to be successful in the world. I can remember being a teenager and working and going to school and it was never an option to be late to work or school. That was the work ethic that I was raised with. Furthermroe I think that many people coonfuse work ethic with enjoying their work. in my experiences a good work ethic is performing duties that are not enjoyable to the same standard that one performes job duties that are enjoyable. Everyone has a good "work ethic" when they are doing tasks that are interesteing or exciting. The real work ethic kicks in when the unenjoyable job must get done. Kids do not understand this and it is up to parents to help convey this message. Not everyone has the luxury of being enthralled with the work taht they perform, but they were hired for a specific job and that job needs done. Basically I am trying to convey that the coalition is a great idea and if it were to be sustainable that would be great. But the coalition is not only going to need support from the schools and local business, but from parents as well. Like most issues regarding the youth it is going to take everyone to help make the youth in this community suceesful. Do not construe my opinion by saying that I think that the kids or parents of Moffat County as a whole are faulted in this. I am saying that there are some parents out there who do not provide this service to their kids and should start doing show. Most parents are responsible adults and teach their kids neccessart skills to thrive in the real world. But for those parents out there who do not exemplify good work behaviors this is a call to duty. Take charge and make sure that your kids are afforded every opportunity to succeed and start by being a positive role model in your own homes. If that can happen than the work skills coalition will be successful because they kids are getting the same message from all avenues.

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