It is. I can see that being a good way forward and a point of emphasis in education. One problem that occurs with any field though is when it becomes something "a trained monkey can do". As in, I can do that, he can do that, why the hell should we pay anybody $X.00/hr to do that?
The more people you have available or able to do something, the less that skill is worth. And the last thing anybody who does it wants is a big glut in their field, dropping their value through the floor. I think what the guys in the article are doing is great though. Anything that can get people trained up and re-enter the workforce is a positive.
And as I've said before, the blue collar environment can be ugly. The guys that thrive in it are no dummies.