The following quote from the curriculum guide sums up the attitude I witnessed first-hand during the week:
“The Finishing Trades Institute Educational Program, which involves this series of instructional materials in conjunction with classroom or correspondence-type instruction and on-the-job training, is provided to help maintain a constant supply of qualified workers for the industry. Everyone who enters the trade makes a definite commitment to themselves as well as to the employer. This includes a commitment to work diligently, to learn new techniques as well as improve on those already learned, to maintain an attitude that promotes learning and to exercise a high degree of maturity in all matters related to the job. These instructional materials are provided as a supplement to the on-the-job training everyone receives while performing their job. Every journeyman and apprentice must seek to learn from any source at their disposal in a continuing effort to enhance and upgrade their skills. The industry is in a constant state of change: only through efficient and continued education will our trades remain state-of-the-art.”
In closing, I think we should all take a moment to thoughtfully consider the opening statement made by Mike Romano during his presentation:
“The history of revolutions, industrial or political, shows you can’t predict outcomes, or take measures to stop them. That’s a mistake the Luddites made when they tried destroying textile machinery in the late 18th century. The machines weren’t the revolution, they were just tools of change. The more important lesson is this: If the reasons for the revolution are real, it’s best to do the utmost to understand them so you can influence the direction of change and thereby profit from the outcome.”
Remember: You can’t fight progress, but you can profit from it!