Trade school a worthy idea

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— In this digital age, when the success of so many depends on the speed of their connections and to whom they're connected it is encouraging to see an effort linked to the heart and soul of this county.

In the little ranching town of Hayden west of Steamboat Springs, an idea is taking shape that deserves attention. Community leaders have proposed building a vocational school there. The plan is to provide training in those skills that really keep a community moving things like welding, auto repair and plumbing.

We like the idea for a couple of reasons.

First, a vocational school would allow many of the sons and daughters of Routt County to stay here after high school. They could learn a trade at the school and then start a career without leaving their community.

The second reason we like the plan is that it is a collaborative one. It not only involves the three Routt County school districts Steamboat Springs, Hayden and South Routt it involves Moffat County as well.

In so many ways, the people of this valley are tied together and it's nice to see a forward-looking proposal that does the same thing.

Any good electrician will tell you that a ground wire is necessary for a proper circuit to work. And that's what this vocational school would provide, in a way. It grounds the idea of education: teaching people skills that are useful to them and their communities.

High technology and faster connections are certainly important to the prosperous future of this valley. But so are the dedicated people who fix things when they're broken.

This is a blue-collar county despite what many people, perhaps even the newspaper, would lead you to believe. And blue is a color to be proud of. Routt County was built with strong backs, strong hands and strong minds.

Passing on that tradition while passing along skills that will bring home a paycheck sounds like a great idea.

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