Lesson Learned (February 17)

Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) education coming

HVAC infrastructure manufacturing, constructing, and installing gears up as a major part of future career technical work, thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passing Congress December 2, 2021, and signed into law by President Biden. Therefore, I am extremely pleased to move acceptance of the remodeling bid at the Fred W. Eberle Technical Center Administrative Council meeting January 18, 2022, using grant money from the West Virginia School Building Authority.

By August, if building material remains available, qualifying students in Barbour, Lewis and Upshur counties will have a golden opportunity right here at home to be educated for a wonderful career in HVAC engineering. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are the essential building blocks for careers that can be pursued right here in Buckhannon at the Morton Avenue school. HVAC technical education serves as a foundation for a career that propels our country’s future workforce forward to stability, career growth opportunities and success. The 40-billion-dollar Infrastructure Act provides a lifetime of work for the skilled trades of plumbing, heating and cooling (HVAC), and electricity.

While I am disappointed that the proposed Buckhannon-Upshur Career Technical High School did not garner citizen support to pass our building bond on January 15, nevertheless I am pleased that the Fred W. Eberle Technical Center will help some of our students. Over the past 12 years serving as an elected member of the Upshur County Board of Education, I have shared the sentiments of Upshurites—we need to triple career technical education!

Life is short!

Opportunity knocks!

Never give up!

For the sake of the children, we must accept that career technical education will be vital for many of our graduates. As a mountain community relatively isolated, we must look to each other to find a way forward. I remember a classmate from the Class of 1966 who gained a first-class education from his military service. After seeing that benefit, I urged many young folks to consider that route but warned them that their education might cost them being injured or even dying in the line of duty. Maybe that will still be a patriotic way forward for some high school graduates to go.

For others, excellent careers will open up outside the four walls of formal education. I admire Benjamin Franklin, a Founding Father for our nation, who always called himself a “printer” simply because he served an apprenticeship in his early teen years. His large family just could not feed all the children under their roof, so he and others were farmed out to learn a trade. Printing agreed with him, and later he wrote a yearly Poor Richard’s Almanac that proved a bestseller in colonial America.

For sure, our BOE will continue to pursue our Mission with due diligence. “The Mission for Upshur County Schools is to provide academic preparation, social responsibility, employability and a desire of lifelong learning.”


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