State Sen. Vincent Hughes recently praised Act 76 of 2019, which expands access to career and technical education and workforce development opportunities and takes the important step of changing “vocational-technical schools” to “career and technical schools.”
The provision to change the term “vocation-technical schools” to “career and technical schools” was cosponsored by Sens. Hughes and Ryan Aument in Senate Bill 89, and subsequently amended into House Bill 265. Gov. Tom Wolf’s signed House Bill 265 into law, creating Act 76 on Wednesday.
“This is an important step for Pennsylvania as we look to provide our people with the necessary training for the jobs of the future,” Sen. Hughes said. “We will be able to show employers we are focusing on skilled jobs and careers while also preparing Pennsylvanians in areas of need. I am pleased we were able to work together to remove the stigma around education in skilled trades, applied sciences and technology. I look forward to seeing growth in our career and technical schools as we make this transition.”
Almost two-thirds of all jobs in the U.S. will require post-secondary education or training, including many careers that sustain middle-class individuals and families. The change to “career and technical schools” is expected to enhance the perception around Pennsylvania’s 84 career and technical centers, which create pathways to those opportunities through comprehensive academic and technical education courses.
Sen. Hughes began his push for a more modern, 21st-century term to describe the robust opportunities offered in Pennsylvania’s schools after seeing the impact from the stigma around the term vocational-technical schools. Changing to the term “career and technical schools” is expected to help demonstrate that these institutions are preparing students for occupations that require a strong knowledge base, technical skills, and critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities.