Pence wants job training for high schoolersJune 12th, 2012 at 5:36 pm by Jim Shella under Jim Shella's Political Blog
Republican Mike Pence made his first major policy announcement in the race for governor today. Pence has an idea that, he believes, will permit employers to find more workers and high school graduates to find more jobs.
Only 1% of high school graduates in Indiana get a degree with technical honors. Pence stood below a pie chart spelling out that statistic as he made a call for alternative classes by 2014 that would amount to job training. “The time has come,” he said, “to make vocational education a priority in every high school in Indiana.”
Democrat John Gregg agreed with a need for more vocational education as he endorsed Kay Fleming, his party’s candidate for attorney general. But he wasn’t about to give Pence any credit, criticizing him for voting against education funding proposals in Congress. “I’m glad he’s finally announcing something,” said Gregg. “I hope he tells how he pays for it. This is the first thing I know he’s announcing since he’s been a candidate.”
In fact, the Pence plan has no price tag. The employers and educators who appeared with him suggested that private industry would help pay for new classes. So we’re gonna bring employers and educators together,” said Pence, “to solve this problem and,I gotta tell ya trust me, employers are ready.”
Pence suggested that a change in education priorities in called for because Indiana ranks third in the number of high school graduates in the workforce. He even produced statistics that show how some technical workers make more than college graduates.
Pence was careful to avoid criticism of the leadership that now emphasizes college preparation. He said he still believes that anyone who wants to pursue college should have that opportunity. The others, he said, should have the ability to start a career after high school.