An increase in desire for trade schools


Quinn Russell

Pleasant Valley Student practicing welding

Quinn Russell, Design Manager

Picking a profession after high school can be difficult. Institutions and parents are always pushing for their children to decide on a profession. College is one of the most expensive choices a person can make and people in this world push for it so much. 

There are many other options that are not explored as much as they should be, such as Trade School and Apprenticeship. Trade Schools have a significantly lower tuition than any other college. Trent Hamm, Founder of The Simple Dollar reported that on average college students have around $36,317 not including interest, yet Trade school will leave students with about $10,000 worth of debt.

For some people, trades were not their initial plan. Clayton Sheldon, a graduate from Pleasant Valley High School  is currently working for Arconic. Sheldon joined the Pleasant Valley apprenticeship program.As a result of being a part of an apprenticeship program, Pleasant Valley High School assisted Sheldon and he was able to get into a competitive apprenticeship at Arconic.

Sheldon expressed his feelings about how he even considered going into Trades in the first place,  “I had never planned on going into a trade school. I had taken a path of high school classes so that way I could attend a four year college. But I took the metals classes and my teacher really expanded my knowledge on how successful a person in the trades can really be.”  

Pleasant Valley High School has been able to get many students into apprenticeships. Despite the competitive environment, there have been quite a few people who have been accepted to places such as Arconic and Boylers Ornamental Iron. 

One of these individuals is James Morley. Morley is currently a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and has an apprenticeship at Boylers Ornamental Iron. His specific apprenticeship is called Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship; Welder Certification. He believes PV gives the upper hand to students interested in trade.  “The school’s registered apprenticeship program gives PV students a headstart into the professional world that gives students the opportunity to explore while still leaving all doors open. The apprenticeship program helps students get their foot in the door and gives them opportunities to acquire competency that their peers lack,” Morley said.

Trade school professions are greatly needed today. Most people in those current professions are much older and society needs a new generation. There is finally less emphasis on college and more emphasis on trades in America today.