Long disparaged, education for the skilled trades is slowly coming into fashion
December 31, 2021
Higher demand, better pay and new respect are drawing students to the trades
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MEDIA, Pa. — Young men in jackets and ties walk along tidy walkways that connect the redbrick buildings of the 220-acre campus of the Williamson College of the Trades.
They wake up around 6 each morning, turn out for inspection, attend a morning assembly, then spend full days doing coursework and in shop, alternating at chores in the kitchen and tending the buildings and grounds. No alcohol is allowed, phones can’t be in view and even straying onto the grass costs demerits. Lights out is strictly at 10:30.
The college was established in 1888 by a frugal wealthy dry goods merchant to train young men as blacksmiths, bricklayers, harness-makers, wheelwrights and other kinds of tradesmen “so they may be able to support themselves by the labor of their own hands.”