We need your help

Greeting all, Most all of the things you see on Stirlingsouth (www.stirlingsouth.com) and The Little Engine Pages (http://www.geocities.com/~rrice2 /) were made at the DeKalb Technical
College Machine Tool Technology program in Clarkston, Georgia. Unfortunately, the Machine Tool program is closing. WE NEED YOUR HELP!! America is losing its ability to manufacture. The following link will take you to a 2005 report by Deloitte and the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute. http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/cda/doc/content/us_mfg_talent_management_1 21405%281%29.pdf Among the more frightening quotes from this study are "The vast majority of American Manufacturers are experiencing a serious shortage of qualified employees, which in turn is causing significant impact to business and the ability of the country as a whole to compete in a global economy." And this one: "Also worrisome is the finding that 90 percent of respondents indicated a moderate to severe shortage of qualified skilled production employees, including front-line workers, such as machinists, operators, craft workers, distributors, and technicians." And this link to a CNN report listing the five occupations with the most severe shortages: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/Careers/02/08/cb.unpopular.jobs/index.html Nurses are listed as number one and machinists are number two. Please read the reports I've listed and give them serious consideration. What can you do? If you think that it is a bad idea to close one of the remaining few Machine Tool Technology programs left in the country, please send an intelligent, well worded e-mail to Ronald W. Jackson, the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education Interim Commissioner ( snipped-for-privacy@dtae.org) Thank you, Richard Egge
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My name is Scott Hardin and I am a current machine tool student at Dekalb Tech.
My goal when I started the program in Winter Quarter was to get the associates degree from the program.
I am in the 2nd quarter and now the program is being closed. As it stands now, there will only be 3 more quarters of machine shop classes with no new students allowed to enroll. Students from the past year who were not enrolled this quarter who took time off due to monetary concerns or time constraints are not being allowed to return next quarter.
I have emailed every politician in the State and County that I am directly represented by, only my State Senator, Steve Henson has so far responded. Below is the email I sent to Senator Henson, then his reply.
--


February 23rd, 2007



Dear Senator Henson,
  Click to see the full signature.
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You, Sir, have written perhaps the best letter I've ever seen to address a problem. I had a similar situation with tech school - one approach to take may also be if your school has a "industry advisory board" or similar. The idea of that would be to have business leaders from the community being served, who participate in advisory meetings with school leadership. I theory, the administration takes their advice and prioritizes according to community needs - which in theory is the reason for the school in the first place.
With your approach, if you can also involve local busiesses, if there's any chance of success, your communication skills and level-headed messages and eloquent wording will be the best possible chance of getting what the community needs. If they don't go for it, then you know that the school is more concerned about headcount of FTE's than anything else - and an FTE who needs a book and a desk is cheaper than a FTE who needs a lab or shop. Been there, done that. Very frustrating.
My point is, if you don't succeed, it's certainly not due to lack of skills and effort on your part, it's because the motivation of the school is something other than the best interests of the community they're supposed to be serving.
Keep us posted please.
Dave Hinz
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That's an interesting point. Is the school serving the community, or are they in a business that wants to make money? Is the community "served" if the school offers an expensive program that few people are interested in?
To the OP.
Good luck to you. I am on an advisory committee in my area that is working on the same problem. Our tech school has closed down, and is in danger of never being reopened. The local businesses want to see it continued, but I fear without a financial contribution, it cannot. If you're interested, you can email me, and I'll send you the email address of the person in the school that is trying to reopen the class. I don't know if he has any info that would be helpful or not, but it can't hurt to contact him.
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[snip]
I have to wonder if the issue is liability insurance. Has anyone been badly injured in the last 12 months?
Joe Gwinn
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wrote:

I, of course, have no idea if this is what is happening here, but I've run into it in another context. I did some work for a company several years ago that required me to carry a million dollar insurance policy on my pickup, even though I did not do any driving as part of my work for the company. This was to protect them from any possible liability they might incur should I have an accident while traveling to or from their facility.
My contact with the company explained to me that the corporate headquarters (in another city) had established an office that was charged with examining and eliminating any possible liability the company might incur.
In other words, you don't have to have an accident; all you need is some twit who thinks you might have one...
Jerry
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