After shift in workforce, lawmakers to provide more resources to vocational schools

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts workforce has changed over time and now there’s a major emphasis on skilled trades.

The pandemic has shown us that the demand for carpentry, electrical work, and plumbing among other trades is higher than we thought. That’s why lawmakers want to remove some of the barriers that students face when trying to get into a Voc tech high school.

In order to get into a trade school in Massachusetts, students must have good grades, good attendance, and recommendations from their teachers. A new bill on Beacon Hill would remove some of those barriers by admitting students using a lottery system. This move alone is one that advocates believe will help low-income students get good-paying jobs right out of high school.

“Making sure that students know this is an option for them, and that they can do this and they can have a job that pays 70, 80, 90 even $100,000 or more a year, and you don’t have six-figure student loan debt,” Senator Eric Lesser told 22News.

The bill would also expand the number of programs that tech schools offer so that students can get trained in clean energy jobs like solar panel installation and wind turbine maintenance.

The bill had its first hearing in front of the education committee on Tuesday, lawmakers on that committee told 22News they are hoping to send it to the floor for a full vote within the next few weeks.

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