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Rodricks’ idea to increase training in construction and other fields is a good one

Construction workers fix a broken water line next to Highway 178, south of Trona, after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit in Ridgecrest, California, on July 4. Dan Rodricks believes training people in construction jobs to fix infrastructure needs can help employ more people. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Construction workers fix a broken water line next to Highway 178, south of Trona, after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit in Ridgecrest, California, on July 4. Dan Rodricks believes training people in construction jobs to fix infrastructure needs can help employ more people. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) (FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty)

Thanks to Dan Rodricks for his Sunday column on expanding training in the building trades to help rebuild America’s infrastructure (“America needs fixing, so ramp up training and wages in the building trades,” July 7).

Many of our fellow citizens from disadvantaged backgrounds of all kinds would benefit from training for decent-paying jobs in construction and other skilled trades. Such training can come not only from the special programs that Mr. Rodricks mentioned, but also from public community colleges which have had such practical options available for years.

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As for immigrants, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at what they can contribute to the United States. Working immigrants are good for all those retiring baby boomers, even the grumpy ones who vote for anti-immigration politicians. The newcomers are nearly all younger and will be paying into Social Security just as the geezers are collecting their monthly payments, thus contributing to keeping the system solvent for everyone.

And aren’t people who are persistent enough to brave death and danger by traveling thousands of miles, fording rivers and crawling across deserts, just the kind of people any employer would want to hire? Weren’t those of our ancestors who chose to immigrate to the U.S. the ones who also had the gumption to leave the Old Country and come here? Perhaps a little empathy is due for those who make the same choice today.

Aaron Levin, Baltimore

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