We should just offer a trade school option starting in high school, like some other countries do. That's where people can have the shop and metal working classes.
Problem is, we still have College uber alles guidance counselors and administration. We had a technical school, an dI took a modified curriculum of Academic plus Electronics. But it was a fight the whole way - the counselors discouraged it, and I even got a sit down with the school Principle, where he told me I was such a smart boy, why would I make people think I was one of those dumb "teckkers".
I didn't listen, and haven't regretted it for a moment. It wasn't easy, and my schedule was weird and full to say the least. But having both academic plus a useful trade to fall back on has served me well through life.
Perhaps there is something in that that might be more useful to everyone than simply extending the school year.