Hands-on student scouts unique careers: Howie Curtiss

Senior Howie Curtiss.

In this society, the people who are highlighted in schools tend to be those who excel in activities that require brain power or physical power. From athletic scholarships to merit scholarships, success in school is headlined by the athletically focused and the physically gifted.

However, in the past several years, vocational schools are decreasing in popularity as more and more careers are trading in handy workers for robotic manufacturing. However, some students at this school see this dwindling number of careers as an advantage that makes a vocational school even more appealing. One such student is Howie Curtiss, a senior, recently attended a PACE program – a vocational training school for students interested in jobs in plumbing, air conditioning, carpentry, and electrical work.

“It was good knowing what you have to do,” Curtiss says. “Plumbing, there’s a lot math too it. You have to know how long the pipes have to be because if you don’t know you can really f**k something up.”

This path – although unusual  – is one that may land Curtiss a high paying job after graduating. His school has yet to be decided, as he will be taking a gap year in the 2017-2017 school year.

Career Coordinator Meg Kilmer said that before too long, Curtiss “will be making more money than me.”

Kilmer describes Curtiss as a rare mix of someone who is intellectually intelligent, has terrific social skills and skilled with his hands. She says he is a mixture of hands, head and heart – the three components that make a student.

Speaking to his social skills and personality, classmate Sammy Gold remarked that Curtiss is “quiet and unassuming yet once you pick up a conversation, he is kind and overall a good guy to talk too.”

Curtiss says that he is looking into a job as an electrician because they get to work inside and have high salaries. A typical electrician earns from $60,000-$70,000 a year.

Giving Curtiss an advantage is the fact that he is already in the workforce. He has already held jobs at Safeway and Superplay, a bowling alley, among other places.

For those who are scared of the days when a robot becomes their home plumber, you needn’t fear, kids like Howie Curtiss are here.