Oregon Senate Increases Grants to Job-training Programs

Press release from the Oregon State Senate Majority Caucus; July 3, 2013:

SB 498A authorizes grants for students to participate in skills training programs that could lead to careers

SALEM—Today the Oregon Senate voted to authorize additional funding for grants to job skills training programs that help students chart a path to good-paying jobs. Senate Bill 498A approves $7.5 million to the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Revitalization Grant Program, and it passed the Senate on a vote of 30-0.

“These workforce development and skills training programs give students a hands-on learning experience. They open the door to a world of job opportunities by introducing students to pathways that can lead to lifelong careers,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “We need more career and technical education programs to strengthen Oregon’s workforce and meet the needs of the 21st Century economy.”

The CTE Revitalization Grant Program leverages innovative partnerships with local businesses and labor organizations to provide classes for high school students to gain workforce training opportunities. During the last budget cycle, 21 schools received CTE grants to offer new or improved vocational programs that partner with employers in the community.

“Having these key programs in our schools is essential to preparing students for success in life and developing a career,” said Rosenbaum. “Schools like Sabin-Schellenberg High School in my district offer lots of programs for students to learn technical skills. It’s an example of the type of opportunities every community should have.”

The goal of CTE programs is to meet the very real and immediate challenges of economic development, student achievement, and global competitiveness. Students who concentrate coursework in CTE programs are more likely to go on to higher education and get a four-year degree.

Taken together with an appropriation to the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon will have $9.4 million available for CTE grants in the coming biennium.

“Career and Technical Education is essential to growing Oregon’s economy, supporting the middle class, and getting people back to work,” said Senator Rod Monroe (D-Portland)

Senate Bill 498A now goes to the Oregon House of Representatives for a vote.