Bipartisan push for vocational training focuses on funding, curricula

Democrats and Republicans say they are pushing for more vocational training by seeking federal funding and promoting employment opportunities that don’t require a bachelor’s degree.

At The Hill’s “Upskilling For Today & Tomorrow” event on Wednesday, Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunIndiana recruiting unvaccinated Chicago officers Indiana's GOP senator: Chicago police who defied vaccine mandate 'deserve respect' Bottom line MORE (R-Ind.) said high schools “need to be the place where we start teaching life skills.”

In an interview with The Hill's Steve Clemons, Braun called for “changing curricula to reflect what we as employers need.”

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Braun is the ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety.

Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisBiden administration OKs Colorado expansion of transgender health coverage Judge dismisses police suit challenging Denver coronavirus vaccine mandate Bipartisan push for vocational training focuses on funding, curricula MORE (D), who also spoke at the event sponsored by Philip Morris International, said “there are open jobs today that have a skills gap where we know that we can get people to the skills and help people go from the hourly economy, where they may be making $14 an hour, to a good position with benefits.”

Polis said that the gap can be “bridged with a several-week class to perhaps as much as six months of training.”

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The former House lawmaker added that his state aims to use funding from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March to finance scholarships for local workforce centers and “innovative programs to bridge the skills gap.”