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Long disparaged, education for the skilled trades is slowly coming into fashion

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MEDIA, Pa. — Young males in jackets and ties stroll alongside tidy walkways that join the redbrick buildings of the 220-acre campus of the Williamson College of the Trades.

They get up round 6 every morning, end up for inspection, attend a morning meeting, then spend full days doing coursework and in store, alternating at chores in the kitchen and tending the buildings and grounds. No alcohol is allowed, telephones can’t be in view and even straying onto the grass prices demerits. Lights out is strictly at 10:30.

The school was established in 1888 by a frugal rich dry items service provider to coach younger males as blacksmiths, bricklayers, harness-makers, wheelwrights and other forms of tradesmen “so they may be able to support themselves by the labor of their own hands.”