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Sad day in Ohio

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  • Sad day in Ohio

    I just returned from an auction. The General Sherman Jr. High School in Lancaster Ohio has decided to end its machinist program and sell off all of its equipment. I asked what would happen to the room where the machines stood. I was told that they plan to turn the shop into a wrestling gym. So I had to ask, will there be some type of technologies course? Nope, just a wrestling gym.

    Wow, think of all of the good paying jobs that those athletes (I have nothing against school athletics) will get right out of high school! I'm sure that the number of students working in the machining industry will never get close to the number of students that will become paid athletes straight out of high school.

    I know and talked to my auction attendees there who told me that as a machinist, they have never been out of work. It is a shame that we can't teach high school students skills that will make them valuable to employers once they graduate. How in the world do school boards think now days. Do they just accept that they are there to push kids out of high school (reading or not) and into college or McLousy-jobs-are-us? The US economy can't continue to operate on so much service type industry. Money is not generated from services, it is only passed around. Manufacturing is a moneymaker. Taking a raw material using skills that others cant and changing it into something that people want makes money.

    Ok, rant over, back to your regularly scheduled "I made this sweet tool, take a look" program. rr
    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

  • #2
    Rock: You confuse "Money" and "wealth". YOu make money with a printing press or ink well. Money is how you keep track of WEALTH.

    Wealth is made by machines, blood, sweat , tears, labor. Money just keeps track of the value of the wealth when compared to other wealth. So you are right, service jobs do not make wealth, wrestling will not make wealth- even if they "pay" you mucho dinero. A machine tool can make wealth- and knowledge of the right sort can lead to WEALTH (as opposed to money). BUt we been brainwashed into thinking money is wealth.

    I remember VietNAm- money (Vietnamese compared to USA Dollars) changed all over the place. In 1962 one dollar would buy 73 Piasters, (legal at embassy or 90 P on black market, or 120 P if you sent it direct to a usa bank via check) in 1970 it was more like 1500 P to buy 1 dollar. But beer compared to bread to bowl of noodles was same ratio in 1962 and 1970. The money changers made a paper profit but most folks worked same number of hours producing real wealth as before- rather you made beer or bread for wealth. When schools trade wealth knowledge for "money knowledge" the country will go broke sooner or later- no wealth no trade. No trade no money.


    • #3
      I am quickly becoming one of an at once dying breed, and endangered species. There are very few machining teachers out there who actually have worked in, and can still work in the field. This is the "dying breed" part. As for the endangered species part, there are few grounds left for us to practice the art of teaching this skill, thus few come about for the future, fewer know about the value of this, and in the end, we become extinct.

      I have great support in my area and at my school.

      CCBW, MAH


      • #4
        Obviously, it's the fault of the parents. Who nowadays wants to say their kid is planning on a career as a machinist after he gets out of high school? They all want their kids to go to college and "be something". They think being on the wrestling team will do more to get them in a good college than taking machining courses.

        Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


        • #5
          I think it will be a self correcting problem.

          Once the demand for machined goods exceed the supply, there will be a shift towards higer paid machining jobs.

          We see this all the time and it is like a pendulum.

          We also see job shifts, too. But like water, it seeks its own level.

          Things come and go and come back again. If they don't come back again, like the steel industry, something comes along to fill the void, like semiconductor industry.

          For all the wory over job loss for the past 50 years, we keep growing and getting stronger inspite of ourselves.

          One final point... No where else on this planet can an individual with vision make himself a fortune like you can in the USA if they work hard enough and persist. That's why so many hate us, too.



          • #6
            in the 1700's People were devoted enough to sell themselves out as apprentices, making word that they would not compete with thier masters, but move to another territory. I am sure most agree that school is much better to learn in. But, you sell yourself in another manner, most college kids owe a large sum after school.

            Slavery was just another form of apprenticeship, the wrong was the committal for life servitude (Africans) instead of a apprenticeship. Perhaps this offset the huge cost of aquiring them? From what I read they were treated good, not the whipping evil masters they are portrayed.

            Slaves were sold out of Ireland in the 1900's Long after the civil war in America.

            People that can not take care of technologies machines are doomed. Most people can't even do the rudimentary maintenance on thier cars.

            People that don't want to learn a trade, People that don't want to produce, Those people are a burden on society. Instead of producing, they will be another stone to bear.

            Why do you think it is, people want RETRO-cars? is it just a fad or do people desire a much simpler time?

            Kids should learn how to operate machinery instead of just nintendo.


            • #7
              There is a very definite shift towards machining jobs. Unfortunately, they are not high paying, and they are in Asia.
              If you think good paying jobs are plentiful here, you do not have children or grandchildren who are trying to enter the job market.
              Jim H.


              • #8
                Talk is good. Writing is good. Today, my smallest daughter (6) & I milled AL parts on the Taig mill for an AV robot. Something that interest her, high tech, and learning to use the edge mill & drill bits. Smooth edges - safety glasses - nice parts (ok... not good looking parts) for an AV Robot. I would set up, and she turned the wheels. Learned about chatter, cutting fluid, and how to make the edge smooth. Guess who will have this thirty years from now.

                I don't think you can wait on HS to capture hearts and minds. Like learning a foreign language, it's over then... Lets say that again.... Wait till HS shop and it's over.

                My mill sits in the center of the dining table & has a 2" pile of AL and plastics.

                Learning on the small things - mills and lathes helps you get ready for the big things later...

                Teachers are critical to learning, but you have to play the game on all bases. IE -> build DVD learing sessions, GS level interactive textbooks, pictures.... Get them involved at all levels. Let the teacher be the wise coach - instead of the babysitter. All of these media things are cheap and possible.... It would be a shame not to instantiate the vast experience out there and some of these things happen.

                BTW - my HS schop teacher (one course) let us pound CU sheets into shapes of horses and make leather parts.... Totally useless things... So for the rare shop teachers - and art teachers out there, there are even fewer imparting the lifelong knowledge and skills.... Spope14 - I wish you would build some footage and were motivated to make the DVD - artsy package.

                FYI... my kids have XBoxes... Nintendo is passe... They also are plugged in on the internet and watch American Chopper intensely.... There are some good things that way... Games are a medium - can be what you make of it....



                • #9
                  Doc, thanks for the correction. After reading your reply, I see the error in my language. Now if I can only remember to correct it next time.

                  As for the other posts, we could ship all sorts of machining to Asia but we still need things fixed and prototyped. Sending that stuff to Asia is just too timed consuming. I would like to think that the fellow across the street would rather fix his lawn mower rather then replace it. But I know better.

                  I once lived behind a couple that had 5 kids. None ever gave me the impression that any of them wanted to do anything mechanical. One day, the father asked if I would help model a project for his daughter’s schoolwork. She had a neat idea and I encouraged her to continue with it. Another daughter went into the Army and is learning airplane repair / maint. The third daughter is studying automotive repair. She was interested when I told her about a 289cid block that I have saved for my Mustang. I wonder if any of their encouragement for their current choices was due partially to watching me fix my car in the driveway and asking questions. If so, cool.

                  And maybe that is why there is no interest in school for machining. I have driven in Dublin here in Ohio for a while now and I have never seen a project car in the garage. All of the yard tractors are new. The families throw away more good stuff than they keep. Honestly, there is no encouragement for understanding how things work. Oh well, job security. rr
                  Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


                  • #10

                    I actually see a turn around where I work,
                    We can't find good machinists (not tool operators or CNC drones) who can do their own setups, layouts, or work from a rough drawing.
                    I have also noticed that all my computer and IT/LAN buddies are starting to complain that no one will pay the outrageous salaries they are asking for. They are becoming a dime a dozen as the market matures.
                    Non, je ne regrette rien.


                    • #11
                      Sad to say, when the pendulum swings back to an increased demand for machinists in the US, it will be cheaper to import skilled but low paid foreign workers than to train new ones here. Things will get worse before they get better.

                      Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                      ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~


                      • #12
                        Rockrat: The saddest part is not the wrestling gym but the fact that we are turning into a society afraid to take any risks at all, protected by laws and lawyers both run amuck


                        • #13
                          RR: I was not "correcting" your language.

                          I WAS presenting a different, useful way of separating "wealth" and "money" as basic concepts. You were so close to making that difference yourself hat I felt you would catch on quick!. But, when you speak to the brainwashed, you must use money as the standard of wealth, then when the contradictions arise- (IE why cant we just print money and make every one rich, or keep a high percentage of the population on generations of welfare and expect to see the country become wealthy) you "discover" and discuss the difference between Money (false wealth) and production (true wealth). Maybe you can convert a few to some hard headed thinking. Minimum wage is a form of false wealth and printing press wealth.

                          IBEW: Slavery, as you hint, existed only when labor was in short supply and had to be cared for. When excess labor came along (about the time of crusades) we developed the serf systems and cities. Labor being in excess of the work, we killed kids (5 to 15) with long hours in bad conditions. when one died, there was another at hand. Slaves alway cost a lot of money, so while not cherished, they were fed, housed, doctored like live stock is fed etc.

                          A good example, for those who are old enough to remember, was right after WWll, the markets were filled with "war surplus" equipment. I remember seeing "jeeps" for less than 100 dollars (even as little as 10 dollars) at Texarkana arsenal, used for hunting and abused, abandoned, because they were so cheap. During the big depression, labor was in excess, so families worked sunup to sun down picking cotton and fruit. Why work so long? Farmer said work long hours because each family was a cost to the farmer. Two families used twice the water, wood, toilets as one. So work long hours or move on down the road. Was there, did it (moved on). Crops picked? move on! Hire another when the plowing for next crop was needed.

                          Slaves? How many here could really quit work and live on what they had produced in the past? Yet most of us (I was not one) involuntarily saved around 15 percent of EVERY check earned. That saving occurred before medical needs, food, shelter. Is was/is called social security. Insurance companies, credit cards all keep most in "slavery". Course when you have many masters, you have none in a way. and when you have many "slaves" you pay attention to the statistical health of the slave not the individuals health.

                          Nuff Cracker barrel philosophy for one morning


                          • #14
                            Docsteve, wow. That was a lot to digest. Honestly, I enjoy the forum because it is not only intresting but also informative. I agree with you earlier comments. It only makes sense when one thinks about it. Wealth / money that is. You later comment reminds me of a time that my father and I were discussing money. I might have been 12-13 and mowing lawns. I made the comment that it would be nice to just print the money that I needed. Dad carefully explained why that just doesn’t work in the big picture. He got the point across, which is why he made a good jr. high teacher. I'm glad he is still around to keep me in line.
                            Just my thoughts! Thanks all. rr
                            Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


                            • #15
                              My grandad told me once that its not how much money you have,but rather how much it buys you,true statement.I had the experience of working with a man from Equador,he was trained as an oil pipe worker damn good hand real dependable,I asked him how much he made back home, he told me in a good year he averaged $7.50 a day!I said gee thats not much,he said no actually it was only slightly less than what he made here the difference being that the $7.50 bought more day to day needs than it did here,he said his wife could keep the house on $12.50 a week,try doing that here!

                              One other problem is people these days don't manage their money like they used to,I know of a proffesional couple,both making $100,000 a year plus,no kids who are in debt up to their necks and have no I mean zero cash!But at the same time,I also know a guy who makes a wopping $750.00 a week has three kids and a wife who always has money(not much but more than the yuppies)kids are always fed,always have what they need and never want for everything.So whats the difference?The difference is the "poor"guy does his own work around the house/car/etc, while Mr and Mrs yuppie can't screw in a light bulb,if their car breaks they go take out a note on a new one,if the house ain't big enough they take out a third mortage and buy a bigger one and so on.

                              I hate to see people push their kids away when they want to learn something,my sister in law is the worst,I was out swapping a cam in my brothers truck and their youngest boy wanted to watch so I set him up on the fender next to the toolbox and he had a blast till mom came out and made him go inside.A few months later she wondered how he had learned fractions so quick(5 years old)I went out to the truck grabbed the toolbox set it on the table and said-hand me a 9/16 wrench,it took him all of two seconds!I said gee,I wonder where he learned that?

                              Parents I understand want their kids to have it better than they did,well thats okay,but we really don't need more lawyers,accountants,insurance salesmen/ we?

                              Also we do have a total lack of work ethic anymore,not to really be blamed on the kids or their parents,but rather industry,kids like me that watched their old man slave away for 27+ years only to be thrown out in the cold just before retirement.I worked as a welder for a while,I had a habit of reading the help wanted ads out loud during lunch,owner of one company asked me one day if I was going to leave,I said you bet!If I find a job down the street that pays a $1 more an hour take a picture of me because soon I'll be gone,he says what ever happened to loyality?I said if he wants loyaltiy he sould get a German Shepard

                              The one thing I like to remind kids going off to college is to always keep in mind that higher education trains you to work for someone else!

                              I just need one more tool,just one!