Four years ago, I was invited to Hobbs, NM to participate in a “Distinguished Lecture Series,” wherein I discussed a few of my more memorable Dirty Jobs, and shared my take on the state of skilled labor in America. It’s not often the “dirty jobs guy” gets lumped in with a collection of “distinguished” speakers, but I was happy to address the good people of Hobbs, and delighted to drag them through the sewer that is my resume. Coincidentally, I was there on the same day the town was considering an ambitious proposal to get shop class back into their public school system. So I took that opportunity to encourage those assembled to support this initiative.
As many of you know, I talk a lot about the unintended consequences of removing shop class from high schools, and the difficulty of getting the vocational arts reinstated into public schools. Frankly, I wasn’t optimistic that Hobbs could do it. Trade schools are expensive to build and require a lot of assistance from a lot of different parties. So I told the crowd four years ago I’d make the journey back to Hobbs to cut a ribbon and say a few words if they actually pulled it off…(knowing full well they would never pull it off.)
Well, they pulled it off.
Hobbs did what hundreds of other towns have failed to do. They opened at SPECTACULAR, state-of-the-art facility to train the kids of Lea County for many excellent jobs that don’t require a four-year degree. And so, I returned to Hobbs NM last week to cut a ribbon, say a few words and the grand opening, (attached), and then, deliver another “distinguished lecture” that evening, (not attached).
Congratulations to everyone in Hobbs, especially my friends at The JF Maddox Foundation, who trusted me to land the plane. See you in four years!
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