Brandon Campus President Dr. Nancee Sorenson speaks on preparing students for new manufacturing jobs

December 20, 2016



There was a time when “shop” classes were as much a part of the school curriculum as math, science and English, especially for boys. Shop was where students learned to use tools -- and their hands -- to build everything from wooden furniture to electric lamps.

The class was an introduction to skilled trades that made schools a pipeline of ready-made employees for manufacturing recruiters.

That pipeline, however, slowed to a trickle in recent years as most schools deemphasized skilled trades, phased out shop classes and opted instead to promote college as the preferred destination for all graduating high school seniors.

“That trend has certainly happened nationwide,” says Dr. Nancee Sorenson, president of the Hillsborough Community College’s Brandon campus. “I’ve seen it in other states where they’ve kind of moved the vocational, technical types of things into magnet schools or specialized areas, rather than having it be a regular part of the curriculum that was required.

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