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State Representative Jim Buchy...
Do Not Overlook Importance of Vocational Education
As Governor Kasich pointed out in his State of the State address February 7th, Ohio has one of the best collections of colleges and universities in the country. More and more students nationwide, upon graduating from high school, move onto college in search of the education and skills that will make them more competitive in the job market.
Each day thousands of skilled jobs go unfilled in this state.  Business cannot find people that can weld and machine products in their workshops. Unfortunately, there is a popular mindset in this country that a college degree will automatically equate into a viable employment opportunity. This, frankly, is not the case. The promotion of trade and vocational education will result in more young people being employed.
Ohio’s economy is growing. Jobs are coming back to the state—and many of these jobs are well paying manufacturing jobs. As we continue to make Ohio a business friendly environment you will see more industry want to call our state home.  We must have an able workforce that is prepared to meet these job demands. Similarly, our schools must be prepared to educate and train students for these jobs.
Vocational and technical schools, as well as community colleges, are wonderful options for some students because they provide opportunities for people to pursue their focused interests. This allows individuals to earn a degree in a shorter period of time, allowing them to enter the job market with a valuable education relevant to the field they are pursuing.
We are blessed in west central Ohio to have fantastic career technical schools, but we need to encourage vo-ag programs and other technical classes to be offered in our schools that will enable students to acquire skills, but remain in their home school for their core curriculum.
Cleveland Public Schools has over 10 high school buildings, but just one vocational school.  The young people need the opportunity to use their hands as they prepare for the work force.  The current situation is not serving our young people.
The types of jobs we need to prepare young people for are changing.  That is why enterprise needs to partner with the schools, to ensure that the training programs are proactive in improving technology. I applaud Governor Kasich’s forward thinking on this subject and his commitment to advocating for vocational education. He made it a point in the State of the State Address to mention the importance of getting kids and adults alike trained quickly so they can get the jobs that are available.

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