Building Trades, Education, Features, National, topslot

Students Considering Their Futures Would Do Well to Look Into the Union Trades

November 13, 2020

By Ben Kimmel

New York, NY – While high school students sign their letter of intent and pick their colleges, other options are available and may prove to be worthy of attention. It is clear that education is a great step towards success. However, it is also a fact that education is not always synonymous with financial achievement.

 According to, approximately 3,898,000 students graduated from college in the academic year of 2019-2020. This means doctors and lawyers are on the hunt for their futures. Computer programmers are looking for their positions and teachers are looking for their spots. Unfortunately, Covid-19 changed the face of their possibilities. And furthermore, what about the rest of the population? What about the people that did not or could not go to college? What are the lucrative paths for those that are not fortunate enough to earn a college degree? Does this mean they cannot reach financial success?  Fortunately, the answer is no.

There are options that go unnoticed because of the misconception that trade workers are somehow less-than or underpaid. Quite the contrary because apprenticeships and training-education programs can teach how to build and create.  Pathways towards a good earning potential can range from electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.

Many found themselves out of work and home during the pandemic. Meanwhile, essential trades and builders were still working, providing for their family while adhering to a safe protocol. And while a diploma from a good school looks excellent on the wall, a paycheck looks excellent in the wallet.

In the upcoming year, nearly 3.7 million students will graduate high school. This means either college or work for most of them.  But what can a young person do to blossom in this troubled economy if they are struggling to find their passion?

According to, more high school students are going to college but many of them are quitting. The website says that 1 in 5 students will quit college and cite problems that vary from pregnancy to other personal issues.  In some cases, job fairs may offer a strong direction and give incentive to find work in a more rewarding atmosphere.

Additionally, another concern is the cost of college. Covid has tasked our Country to find a way to endure and understand. Meanwhile, tuitions are still the same but yet, the learning potential and experience is drastically different.

It is important for families to recognize that times ahead are uncertain. It is also important for students to plan ahead when they consider their futures. There are different means of education and different pathways to success. The best advice is this: Find something enjoyable. Find something with passion to avoid the “Dead-end” feeling of being leashed to a desk, love it, learn it, work for it and remember the world will always need a good builder. Just don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Besides, given today’s economy, there might not be a choice.

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Certified Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate.  Ben can be reached at


November 13, 2020

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