Did you know that the number of apprentices in the U.S. dramatically declined in the decade between 2003 and 2013? According to CNN Money, some of this decline was driven by the “push to send more high schoolers to 4-year colleges.”

Thankfully, it seems Americans are wising up, recognizing that pushing every kid toward a college degree can be detrimental – not only to the kid, but to the business world as well.

According to one manufacturing CEO, offering apprenticeships which allow students to earn while they learn once seemed like a huge investment, unlikely to give much ROI. But given the shortage of skilled labor, the CEO soon realized his company “couldn’t afford not to support” apprenticeship programs.

Such a scenario leads me to wonder: how many other business heads and executives – both in the blue and white collar professions – are feeling the same way? Has the push to send every kid to college left them with an employee pool which has little knowledge and training in the things which matter in the workaday world?

Image Credit: Barb Snow