Just cried upon hearing the latest news from U.S. Marine Taylor King. When he was in high school, he used to mow my lawn. Due to a freak football injury, he could not enter the Marines immediately after graduation. He didn’t want to commit to a four-year debt load, so he was looking for options. I gave him all my maintenance books and manuals and told him about some choices, career paths and available opportunities - like I do with anyone who has ears.

As opposed to most people who just humor me and then scamper away and scoff at my suggestions about a "maintenance profession," Taylor, who has great parents that reinforced my suggestions, encouraged him to take some electrical and mechanical classes. He also mended his foot and trained rigorously to meet the requirements to become a Marine. So now he is assigned to be a mechanic on jet fighters and tomorrow morning he is going to mow my lawn. I can now give him a beer along with another load of books and magazines to read to sharpen the saw. Also, I am going to get him connected with my contacts at the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA.org). He already has interest from companies who want to hire him as soon as he completes his service to his country.

See why my tear ducts are empty? Many in my family still criticize my chosen self-developed career path because it has not been as financially lucrative as others. But when you get feedback like this, who cares?

I can die a happy man knowing that my legacy may not be measured by my personal income, but by the new generation of caretakers capable of handling the latest technology and advancements that protect and propel our society forward. OOOAAAAH!

We hope you can join Joel Leonard and preach the maintenance gospel. Help us build the next generation of technical workers who will be much needed since baby boomers are now retiring in the U.S. at a reported rate of 1,000 per day.

Are you visiting your schools? Are you supporting robotics, remote control hobbyist competitions, etc.? Are you mentoring talent? If so, pass on your tear-jerking moments to Joel@skilltv.net.

Further stories that support Joel’s mission:

  1. Student confident will find job: http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=252677
  2. Courier Tribune explains why Machinists are in demand: http://courier-tribune.com/sections/news/business/program-seeks-machinists-technicians.html
  3. Fox 8 WGHP- shares why companies use stealth hiring to locate quality workers: http://myfox8.com/2012/09/19/piedmont-companies-and-stealth-hiring
  4. Produce to Prosper - Manufacturing Revival Radio: http://madeintheusa.dreamlandinteractive.com/joel-leonard-if-we-are-going-to-prosper-we-have-to-produce

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