Legendary NASCAR driver “The King” Richard Petty recently spoke with Fox News about his efforts to mentor high school students on the importance of developing trade skills. Petty is working with high school students in Minnesota who will be competing in a “rat rod” build-off. The NASCAR Hall of Fame member stressed the need for teaching youth these hands-on skills that are crucial to the economy.
While speaking to Fox News, Petty stood in front of a rat rod, a custom-built race car, with a few of the high school students he would be working with. The students will be taking inspiration from the custom car and translating it into building a functioning go-kart. “But these kids back here gonna go kart hop,” Petty said.
“I guess they’re kind of looking at these find out what the what they’re gonna be able to look at converting so I finally got about a year to be able these two different schools I think that’s going to do this and so it’s gonna be interesting,” the former NASCAR driver continued. Petty then explained the students would get the opportunity to race the vehicles once the builds are completed.
Petty then addressed the issue of the nationwide trend where schools no longer offer trade classes that teach students vocations, such as shop classes. Trade jobs are still crucial to the domestic economy, and there is a demand for youth with these skills. However, Petty noted that the Northern Tool equipment company has been going to various high schools and offering students products while pointing out that there are other options than just going to college.
“Northern Tool’s got a deal with tools for the trade, and they go to different schools, and give them some products and stuff and, and try to tell the kids, everybody is not fit for Congress to go to college. So there’s so many people that, you know, if you work with your hands, you’re always going to have a job, and that’s what they’re trying to convert to the younger people that you know, you don’t have to go to school, you don’t have to be that kind of deal. You can make a living and and always have a job if you can work with your hands,” Petty said.
It was also noted that trade workers can make a very comfortable living, given the demand for jobs of this category. The NASCAR legend further pointed out how working with your hands can often be much more satisfying than many office jobs. These days, many white-collar workers can find themselves confined to a cubicle working on abstract spreadsheets, creating a dynamic where they have no meaningful connection to their work.
Petty said, “You know, people that work with their hands and stuff. I think they’re a lot more satisfied when they go home and go to bed. You know, look what I’ve accomplished. There’s always a job, no matter what, what these guys going to college, come up with. There’s got to be somebody that builds all this stuff that they come up with. So that’s, that’s what the northern tool is trying to condense and tell people.” See a video below where Petty further discusses the importance of trade skills.
Note: Featured image is screenshot from embedded video.
"*" indicates required fields