I just saw a note on the internet that the United States is short 350,000 construction workers. It is not a new thing that we do not have enough trades people. Why? Well how often have you heard about kids need to go to college to earn a good living.

This is just not true. Ask the people at Paris Junior College (PJC) or the folks at the Lone Oaks Community Seeds. It was not that long ago that I was talking to an instructor in welding and he told me how tqo of his graduates got jobs making over $40 per hour.

I graduated from college and spent most of my career in Manufacturing. Mainly in Maintenance departments. I had a really hard time hiring trades persons.

Heck it was a challenge to just hire someone that could read a tape measure and add fractions. Try to hire an electrician or a plumber. Most of the companies in our area are in need of young people to work with their hands and do a trade.

Did you read this week how there were several students at PJC that earned their “pin” in nursing? Well that is a trade to me. Some months ago I read how there were several students in Quinlan ISD that received certificates in trades and were ready to go to work the next day. Many of them already had jobs.

Well, I know that a friend of mine has a grandson that was in the Quinlan ISD that graduated from high school and the next day received an Associates Degree in a trade and still has the job he went to within a few days or weeks of graduation.

I have heard and been told by PJC that there are scholarships available for GISD high school students. Well, Greenville voters we “missed the boat” several months ago. We could have entered the PJC District. Sure it would have increased our taxes. It would also have given our kids a huge discount to take dual credit courses. Not only that,, I had looked at a continuing education class about the history of Greenville and the downtown buildings. It would cost me over $500. But if we had been in the PJC District it would only cost me $200 to $250. Heck, in paying the extra taxes, I still would have saved about $150.

Come on folks of Greenville. We have a huge opportunity to make Hunt County great with the education we have locally. I truly hope that PJC does not give up on getting us into their district. When I was talking to PJC they told me that they envisioned a campus with maybe five more buildings on their site. WOW! Can you imagine the growth we would have with that kind of facility?

JOHN MARTYN

Greenville

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