Academic journal article ATEA Journal

Region 5 2014 Conference Host: Gillette College Gillette, Wyoming

Academic journal article ATEA Journal

Region 5 2014 Conference Host: Gillette College Gillette, Wyoming

Article excerpt

Introduction to Engineering Design Class, Project Lead the Way Michael Schultz, Lyn Velle, Brandon Cone and Jaml Cone.

Keynote: Matthew Crawford, Author, Shopcraft and Soulcraft, An Inquiry into the Value of Work

Matthew's summary of his keynote for the ATEA Journal

I graduated from a big state university in 1989 with a degree in physics, and moved to Los Angeles to look for work in the aerospace industry. I sent out dozens of resumes but I got close to zero response. After about four or five months, my savings gone, I found myself going around the parking lot of a home improvement store putting flyers on the windshields of cars to advertise my services as an electrician. This was work I had done throughout high school and college, starting as a helper when I was fourteen. The flyers said "unlicensed but careful." I got immediate response. There was more demand for my services as an unlicensed electrician than as a credentialed college graduate. I was glad to have something to fall back on, and went into business for myself.

The trades suffer from low prestige, and I believe this is based on a simple mistake. Because the work is dirty, many people assume it is also stupid. We've developed a dichotomy of knowledge work versus manual work, as though they are two very different things. But that's a distinction that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Say you're trying to diagnose why a car doesn't idle properly. …

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