Patrick Ishmael

The video above—which you'll notice was largely produced here in Kansas City—has been out for a few months, but "broke out" in construction circles on social media in the last week or so, which is how I came across it. The video is about workforce development, which I've written about before, and revolves around a poem titled "Ditch Diggers" by Eric Borden, a Drexel, Mo., resident. It focuses on the often-negative view that modern culture has for good blue-collar professions, and Borden uses the term "ditch diggers" as shorthand for a variety of professional vocations in construction and other blue-collar industries. In addition to being relevant to policy discussions, as a poem it's a form of art as well. 

As I've said before, state workforce development policies have to encompass the spectrum of professions in Missouri rather than just prioritize college educations, and the "Ditch Diggers" poem and video help to give human faces to the argument.

About the Author

Patrick Ishmael
Director of Government Accountability

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute.