South-Western - Management  
Big-Name Home Builders Going 'Back To School'
Topic Strategy
Key Words On-the-job-training, mentoring
InfoTrac Reference CJ126770627
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News Story

Driven by fears of a labor shortage, big-name construction companies in Southwest Florida are sponsoring after-school clubs to teach students construction skills. They hope the clubs get kids interested in construction careers, which will pay them $30,000 a year right out of high school. The program makes the point that vocational programs are not just for low achievers and that four-year colleges may not be for everyone. School districts and builders have started 25 clubs across the state. The club is modeled after similar programs for students who are interested in farming or business and gives professionals the chance to work with and mentor kids who have an interest in the industry. The programs are giving kids direct connections to mentoring and training opportunities and job openings in the industry.

Questions
1.

Who benefits from the Southwest Florida mentoring program, the kids, the companies, the schools? And, in what ways does each benefit?

2.

Peter D. Straw, executive director of the Sarasota-Manatee Manufacturers' Association is quoted in the article as saying "Parents need to get past the idea that everyone needs to go to a four-year college. Are we really doing these kids a service if we send them to college to study philosophy and they come home and they live with their parents because they can't find a job?" Do you agree or disagree with Straw's statement that some kids are better off getting good-paying jobs than going to college after high school?

3.

One of the components of the Southwest Florida program is mentoring. Research mentors and mentoring on the Internet or in your class text. What are some important characteristics of a good mentor?

Source "Big-Name Home Builders Going 'Back To School'," Sarasota Herald Tribune, Jan.6, 2005, p.A1.
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