Sunday, August 25, 2019

Bill Crawford: Taylor Says Skills Training Should Begin in Eighth Grade

The paradigm of get a job and we will train you is gone," says Louisville's Lex Taylor. He is talking to a large multi-county group of business, education, and government leaders at the The Dome, Louisville's new community safe room.

Understand that Taylor is no common businessman. He is the third-generation leader of one of Mississippi's great rural industry successes.

In 1927 W. A. Taylor, Sr. opened a small family-owned automotive and repair business in Louisville. In 1937 he produced his first conventional timber skidder, then pioneered a mobile skidder and loader called the “Logger’s Dream.” The 1950’s brought the development of “Yardster” forklift trucks. A line of pulpwood handling equipment, including the “Pulpwood Dream,” followed. By the early 1970s, Taylor Machine Works, under the second generation leadership of W.A. "Bill" Taylor Jr., had developed one of the most advanced machine shops in the South with heavy investments in modern machine tools. New products included a complete line of heavy duty trailers (for transporting gravel, soil, etc.), numerous agricultural implements, reforestation equipment, log loaders, and other specialized machines.

Today, under the third generation leadership of Lex and his brother Robert, Taylor Machine Works is now one division in the Taylor Group of Industries, Inc, that includes national defense product, power system, logistics, leasing and rental, and "sudden service" divisions. The company has operations in Alabama, Florida, Texas, Wyoming, and multiple locations in Mississippi and is a major player worldwide in materials handling equipment.

"Taylor competes on a world stage, now, with its products and services, and like all businesses here and our surrounding areas, we need a pool of trained, ready-to-work labor," says Taylor, "workers that with minor orientation on the job can be productive day one."

That was the purpose of the meeting in Louisville, to kick-off and promote a four-county initiative to begin building pools of ready-to-work labor.

Rural counties Choctaw, Kemper, Webster, and Winston banded together to pursue and win a competitive POWER grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The objective of this project is to begin to build local labor pools at the high school level, then to establish community-based access to fundamental skills training oriented to the needs of local industry within each county.

Driving the project were the local economic developers, Lara Bowman, executive director of The Enterprise of Mississippi that includes Choctaw and Webster counties, Glen Haab, executive director of the Winston County Economic Development District Partnership, and Craig Hitt, executive director of the Kemper County Economic Development Authority.

Key partners were community colleges to provide training and testing services – East Mississippi, East Central, and Holmes; high schools to provide the students – Choctaw County, French Camp Academy, Kemper County, Kemper Academy, East Webster, Eupora, Louisville, Nanih Waiya, and Noxapater; career and technology centers to provide training sites – Choctaw County, Louisville, Webster County, and EMCC; and the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District to handle fiscal matters.

This is a beginning, but Taylor hopes for more. He wants to put work skills and soft skills education into school curricula beginning in the 8th grade.

"Workforce development is now, more than ever, one of the most critical tools in driving the American economy to the greatness it once commanded," he says. "Skills training is the answer."

As an industry leader who competes successfully worldwide, Taylor seems like someone we should listen to.

Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.


Anonymous said...

Go to any port and you will see Taylor equipment handling containers. Taylor is a great MS success story and they are absolutely right about workforce training. We have the jobs, just not the people trained to fill them.

I just got back from south LA and the new chemical plants under construction are paying people $25 and hour to start. If you're willing to learn a trade, pass a drug test and get your hands dirty $50,000 to start sure beats $100,000 in college loan debt.

Anonymous said...

Greenville SC is an early model working with leading auto manufacturers and suppliers to train thru community college workers.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, over 110,000 of MS public school students languish in D and F rated schools. Simultaneously, the "education and legislative leadership" continues to brag on themselves regarding what a great job they are doing.

Anonymous said...

4:05..."D and F rated schools"? Hogwash. The problem is D and F rated parents. 75% of problems in schools could be corrected if parents did their jobs. And that means a two parent home where morals, ethics, manners, respect and God were stressed.

Anonymous said...

5:11 pm - sadly, 75% of black children, and 30% of white children, no longer have "parents." It's one mom trying to make a car payment and rent, and groceries on Saturday.

It is up to our schools, and the low expectations we put on children with only a single parent.

Anonymous said...

You can build a half million dollar vocational wing on every high school campus in Mississippi and the problem will not be corrected. By the way, many high schools in this state already have what are now called Career Centers where training is available.

Throw money into vocational buildings, salaries and equipment and the tip of the iceberg might be approached. Without leadership from the black community, nothing will change. That equates to goals and expectations and, yes, demands from the community leadership across the state.

We cannot (and will never) change the family structure dynamic in the black community. We can cuss about it and we can preach about it and we can sling raw meat at it. But it will not change.

Throwing more money at buildings that offer training won't touch the problem. It will take leadership - and leadership has not emerged in the past sixty years.

Anonymous said...

In my high school there were two tracks available, an academic (college prep) and trade track. Unfortunately there was a stigma attached to those who took the trade track; but not everybody is interested in, or would excel in college, and some have more motivation and aptitude to work with their hands. I'm a professional engineer and I work with some trade people who have amazing problem solving skills and far more common sense than those with advanced engineering degrees.

Some years ago the liberal left created the idea that the only way to succeed in America was by going to a four-year college, Mike Rowe has been instrumental in proving this wrong. Now we have people with six-figure student loans who studied useless topics and are now begging for relief from the same liberals who created the problem.

Thanks liberals!

Anonymous said...

August 25, 2019 at 5:11 PM Is absolutely correct.
Is any institution (family, school) setting an example for behavior that includes manners, morals, courtesy, and respect? I understand that in a one parent household these character building lessons often fall through the cracks. My wife and I elected not to reproduce.

Maybe if millennials want their opinion to be "valued" they should exhibit manners, morals, courtesy, and respect. I work with some millennials and even some of the hard working, smart ones are lacking in manners and courtesy. I do not think that they intend to be disrespectful or poorly mannered, they simply do not know any better.

Anonymous said...

8:14, you can blame social media for disrespectful behavior and not knowing how to deal with people in a courteous and professionally deferential manner.

Anonymous said...

Shop class, Vocation classes, and more were the first things cut from curriculum years ago and now we have a workforce with very limited actual work knowledge for these types of industries... Not everyone needs to go to college...

Mbrookes said...

I am so tired of the comments about "single parents", I was a single parent and my two children are strong productive citizens. They know how to behave and how to relate to other people. It is not the singleness that is the problem. It is the actions and lack of actions of the parent.

Anonymous said...

In Mississippi it's all about quietly herding students through the K-12 system (regardless of attendance or actual achievement) and then repeating that formula in higher education where there is now a no fail's all designed to keep the state and federal dollars flowing.

MDE and IHL are no more than pimps of Mississippi's youth - capturing the tax dollars meant for their education....which ain't happening.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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