Kevin Garling's class

Students in Kevin Garling's natural resource management class clean one of the fish tanks at Lowell High School.

It's an important evolution at Region public schools as our society increasingly realizes traditional college pursuits aren't the best fit for all students.

Several career and technical classes are being offered through a cooperative agreement among Tri Creek School Corp., Hanover School Corp. and Crown Point Community School Corp.

Some $5 million in renovations underway at Lowell High School include a new advanced manufacturing and trades building. The building will be home to classes on welding, manufacturing fabrication and automotive technology.

Classes in horticulture, landscaping and other trades abound at the rural south county high school.

The A.K. Smith Career Center in Michigan City and the Porter County Career and Technical Center in Valparaiso, among others, also are helping students wishing to pursue vocational trades.

This push in our local schools to offer more than traditional college preparatory courses is encouraging.

As older generations in our labor force retire, a need has arisen for fresh crops of future laborers.

Expertise in the trades can lead to good paying jobs and careers, and the need for a revitalized skilled workforce is evident.

For a number of years, our society appeared to be going in the wrong direction on this front. Shop and automotive classes — staples for many Generation Xers and Baby Boomers when they were in high school — became casualties of budget cuts in many places.

Our school systems are wise to circle back.

Education is about opportunity for our future generations. We all know opportunities come in multiple forms, whether through a bachelor's or graduate degree opening the door to a white collar career or vocational training leading to certifications in various trades.

The ongoing diversification of opportunities in our Region schools ultimately means greater success for more people.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.