Actor John Ratzenberger is donating one million dollars from his foundation to bring back “shop” classes into schools to teach students how to work with their hands and learn a trade. The initiative is designed to help young people learn to be self-reliant and self-sufficient.
Ratzenberger stated that, “tradespeople should be given the same amount of respect as doctors or scholars.” He promotes the German model: “Whether you take shop classes or go into academics, you’re given the same amount of dignity and respect. Whether you’re a brain surgeon or a plumber doesn’t make any difference. And that’s crucial,” said Ratzenberger.
Mr. Ratzenberger said that it is important for people to learn a skill “that nobody can take away from you.” This empowers a person to earn a living anywhere on the planet. The actor’s non-profit organization, Foundation For America, believes that economic freedom and innovation is possible by investing in America’s people by providing educational resources.
The Foundation for America is dedicated to educating the public and policymakers on the growing decline of skilled labor in the United States. Ratzenberger also informs the public about the crisis of American manufacturing’s lack of skilled workers to replace retiring baby boomers through the Center for America, also a nonprofit organization that brings people face-to-face with issues that affect the future quality of life, economic prosperity and freedom in America.