A few years ago Mike would have been annoyed to be asked to work on Christmas day. After more than a year without a steady job, he is pleased to work this Christmas. Mike worked hauling sand and gravel for construction and there simply has not been much demand for those services. Last Christmas he was concerned about how he would provide for his family. This Christmas he is working at a local hospital doing systems maintenance, and he is happy to do it. Not only does he receive a steady paycheck, but he also receives decent job benefits, including health insurance. In short, he can provide for his family. Further, he is performing a valuable service that he takes pride in. Nobody is giving him anything, he has earned it. His employers are pleased to have a skilled worker at a time when truly skilled workers are hard to come by. There are a lot of people wanting jobs, but not so many offering the skills needed for an HVACR technician. The people in the hospital have a place to go to heal thanks to the workers like Mike who work through the holidays insuring everything in the hospital keeps running. So what is the difference between last Christmas when he did not know how he would support his family and this Christmas when his services are needed? Education. Mike enrolled in Air Conditioning Technology at Athens Technical College. He could not have afforded the cost of school entirely on his own, even though our costs are quite low compared to other colleges. He received help from government programs promoting technical education. In essence, we the people made an investment in Mike. So what did we receive? The government will get their money back in one to two years of taxes. Afterwards, the taxes on his income can be used for years to come. Mike’s family will not need any government support because he is supporting his family. The hospital receives a skilled and loyal employee to help provide a place for the community to heal. Mike practices a skilled trade in a profession he truly enjoys. We received a great deal. Merry Christmas Mike.