Hearts and minds need to change to win the fight against the Maintenance Crisis!

In the quest to FIX-IT FORWARD to develop a pipeline of skilled technicians, we need more to get in the battle and do the face the face in the trenches combat to win young hearts and minds of future generations. I have engaged a very capable resource to help set up and manage a summer youth development program in Gene Holder, a metals instructor at a vocational school. He has recruited his past students and arranged for them to work 4 days a week with Friday's reserved for field trips. Last week we took them to the Denton Farm Park to see the South East Antique Machine Society's exhibits. Five of the eleven had never seen a tractor up close. They were blown away to see the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century machines restored, renovated and operational for the 42nd Annual SE Threshers Reunion. Their mouths were agape when they saw the belt driven machine shop that grind-ed, drilled, shaped, carved metal, table legs, and other practical applications of this technology. They were also amazed to learn that it was abilities of the US machine shops and war machine to build and develop the tanks, the planes, the ships that won WWII not just the soldiers. They were able to see steam shovels, steam sawmills, steam tractors all operate. They left with a much deeper sense of appreciation for machining and agriculture. This week Mr Holder will be taking them for an depth tour of Guilford Technical Community College and we plan on taking them Thomas Built Buses, Caterpillar, John Deere Hitachi and other major employers so that they have a better appreciation of the potential opportunities. Although the students have just started they are already making a quite an impression at their job assignments. Yesterday two of the students who work at the county garage finished their work an hour early and without prompting took Mr. Holders mantra to use: "You got time to lean, you got time to clean". They cleaned up their entire work environment, put away tools, swept and mopped the floors to everyone's surprise. These "kids" have a very bright future ahead of them as they are not scared of doing some hard work and getting a little dirty. We will continue to follow their progress and hope others from around the country will share how they are building the next generation of skilled workers. Send your thoughts to Joel@SkillTV.net