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High School Skilled Trades Students’ Point of View

Los Angeles, CA

High School Skilled Trades Students’ Point of View

About one million students are enrolled in skilled trades classes in U.S. public high schools. We thought it would be a good idea to get their opinion about why skilled trades classes are important and valuable in their lives.

Some highlights: 

Katie Juarez, from Bullard-Havens Technical High School in Connecticut talked about how she wants to see more women in the skilled trades.

“I feel like when you first go into the automotive field, it gets really intimidating because it’s an all guys field,” Katie said. “I just feel if we put more girls in there, the girls would be comfortable.”

Joseph Ross, from Redwood High School in California, wants to be a mechanic when he graduates. He is able to work on his family’s 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air in the auto shop and likes that students are given the opportunity to work at local car dealerships. Joseph said high school students should have the opportunity to study the skilled trades.


“I love being given the opportunity to do trades in high school because it’s kind of like a head start if you want to pursue that in the future as your career,” Joseph said. “You don’t have to wait until you graduate high school and figure out what you want to do. You can have some work experience in high school, know exactly what you want to do and go right into the workforce.”


Jack Bellew from Gulfport High School in Mississippi agreed that there should be more opportunity for students to study the skilled trades in high school.

“It’s a very strong advantage that we get to go in the shop and use all the different tools and learn about the process….whether it’s in the mechanics shop, the engineering shop or the construction shop,” Jack said. “I definitely think those skills are important to have especially since today it seems like fewer people know how to do all that stuff.”

Joel Barley from Garrett High School in Indiana shared that his class is building a house and that he and his fellow students recently were involved in pouring the concrete for the foundation.


“What got me interested is that I get to actually do something. I don’t have to sit around all day. It’s more fun than anything you would normally do at school,” Joel said. “You get to see what you accomplish. It gives you a good work ethic.”


This will be the first of several Student Advisor Meetings. Harbor Freight Tools for Schools will continue to connect with these students throughout the 2021-22 school year.