Magazine October 5, 2020, Issue

In Praise of Trade School

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Not everyone should go to college

About a decade ago, I participated in a discussion hosted by the chamber of commerce in a university town about state policies regarding higher education. I’ll never forget the first comment I got from one of the attendees.

“The problem with your presentation,” she said, “is that it didn’t focus enough on college. The jobs in the trades are gone. My father worked for General Motors; those jobs are never coming back.”

This is a common belief, especially in Rust Belt states such as Michigan. It is especially strong among politicians and in the media. Not surprisingly, most people who work in …

This article appears as “In Praise of the Trades” in the October 5, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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Jarrett Skorup — Mr. Skorup is the director of marketing and communications at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market research and educational institute in Michigan.

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