The Headlines: August 3, 2017

Ten Home Building industry stories we have read recently:

  • Greer CPW to expand infrastructure near GSP. GSA Business.
  • Housing demand in the Southeast finds a “new normal.” NAHBNow.
  • CFPB publishes final “Know Before You Owe” rule. NAHBNow.
  • Where are older Millennials going when they leave downtown? Housingwire.
  • How the Reedy’s water quality is hindering recreation for county residents. Greenville Journal.
  • Why isn’t the housing market booming the experts expected? NPR.
  • A surprising way to increase property values: build affordable housing. The Washington Post.
  • Two major lending changes mean it’s suddenly easier to get a mortgage. CNBC.
  • Appraisers may be holding back the housing market, and that might be ok. Forbes.
  • Why Washington can’t fix the new housing crisis. Politico.

August 3, 2017.

    Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools

    Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools

    Article courtesy of
    Written by Nicholas Wyman

    Throughout most of U.S. history, American high school students were routinely taught vocational and job-ready skills along with the three Rs: reading, writing and arithmetic. Indeed readers of a certain age are likely to have fond memories of huddling over wooden workbenches learning a craft such as woodwork or maybe metal work, or any one of the hands-on projects that characterized the once-ubiquitous shop class.

    Instructor helps a student participating in a woodworking manufacturing training program in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg Charlie Negron

    But in the 1950s, a different philosophy emerged: the theory that students should follow separate educational tracks according to ability. The idea was that the college-bound would take traditional academic courses (Latin, creative writing, science, math) and received no vocational training. Those students not headed for college would take basic academic courses, along with vocational training, or “shop.”
    Ability tracking did not sit well with educators or parents, who believed students were assigned to tracks not by aptitude, but by socio-economic status and race. The result being that by the end of the 1950s, what was once a perfectly respectable, even mainstream educational path came to be viewed as a remedial track that restricted minority and working-class students.
    The backlash against tracking, however, did not bring vocational education back to the academic core. Instead, the focus shifted to preparing all students for college, and college prep is still the center of the U.S. high school curriculum.
    So what’s the harm in prepping kids for college? Won’t all students benefit from a high-level, four-year academic degree program? As it turns out, not really. For one thing, people have a huge and diverse range of different skills and learning styles. Not everyone is good at math, biology, history and other traditional subjects that characterize college-level work. Not everyone is fascinated by Greek mythology, or enamored with Victorian literature, or enraptured by classical music. Some students are mechanical; others are artistic. Some focus best in a lecture hall or classroom; still others learn best by doing, and would thrive in the studio, workshop or shop floor.
    And not everyone goes to college. The latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that about 68% of high school students attend college. That means over 30% graduate with neither academic nor job skills.
    But even the 68% aren’t doing so well. Almost 40% of students who begin four-year college programs don’t complete them, which translates into a whole lot of wasted time, wasted money, and burdensome student loan debt. Of those who do finish college, one-third or more will end up in jobs they could have had without a four-year degree. The BLS found that 37% of currently employed college grads are doing work for which only a high school degree is required….continue reading.

    Forbes: Greenville tied for first in best cities for job growth this Spring

    A new report by Forbes finds that Greenville is the top city in the U.S. in expected job growth during the second quarter of 2012.

    The finding is based on a survey of employers by ManpowerGroup.  According to the survey, the employment growth outlook for Greenville is impressive with 26 percent of area employers that expect to add jobs during the second quarter of 2012, compared with 2 percent that plan to reduce employment.  Greenvilled tied with Knoxville, TN, for the top spot in the report, followed by Syracuse, NY, Oklahoma City, OK, and Tulsa, OK.

    Read the entire report at by clicking here.

    Greenville makes Forbes list of top 10 downtowns in America

    Forbes included downtown Greenville on its list of 10 cities with America’s Best Downtowns.

    As recently as fifteen years ago, there would be no chance of Greenville making anybody’s list of top downtown areas. Suffering from decades worth of neglect losing business to the suburbs, the city engaged in an aggressive renewal project that has been enormously successful in transforming the downtown into a thriving cluster of new homes, shops, restaurants, and arts offerings. “There are pedestrian areas where people are walking around and shopping, and it’s really different from the other cities in South Carolina,” says Clampet. The addition of a BMW plant 30 miles outside the city has had a big impact on the workers coming in, and has changed it, in Clampet’s terms, “from a backwater to a really functioning and beautiful place.”

    Read the entire report in Forbes by clicking here.

    Greenville is ranked by website as 6th best place to live ranked Greenville 6th on its list of “Top 100 Places to Live.” The basis for its rankings in 2011 include positioning for economic recovery, currently strong economic growth, and proven overall economic stability. Factors also high on the list include employment, education, community leadership, and quality of life.

    The top five cities were Austin TX, Grand Rapids MI, Boulder CO, Raleigh NC, and Dallas TX.
    Want to see the comings and goings of people moving to and from Greenville. has a great map that shows the inward and outward movement of people to and from Greenville County.