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Car talk page 2
Stafford High School should offer auto mechanics, one way or the other

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THINKSTOCK.COM
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Date published: 9/27/2012

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Across the nation, 75 percent of students who start high school finish in four years. But 90 percent of students enrolled in vo-tech programs finish on time, according to the Department of Education. Students in strong high school vo-tech programs are poised to complete one- or two-year post-high-school certificate programs that will lead to higher-paying positions. In fact, 25 percent of people with these advanced certificates earn more than the average holder of a bachelor's degree, according to Georgetown University's Center for Education and the Workforce. William C. Symonds, director of the Pathways to Prosperity Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, told The New York Times that tech courses "can prepare you for jobs in which you're going to earn a very solid middle-class income."

The words "middle class" should ring a bell. Just a few decades ago, Americans with no interest in college got good jobs in the steel mill, the coal mine, the auto plant, the furniture manufacturing plant, the construction site, or the textile mill. And the middle class grew.

Those days are gone, but Stafford County can strike a blow against the forces suppressing the American Dream for young people today: Figure out a way to provide auto-tech training at the new Stafford High School.


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