It’s been a big week for career and technical training in Colorado.
Following the kickoff of a new statewide apprenticeship program earlier in the week, Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet announced Friday he’s co-sponsoring a bill to create a grant program to beef up the nation’s career and technical offerings in public schools.
According to a press release from Bennet’s office, the Innovation for Tomorrow’s Workforce Act of 2016 would create a grant program to improve career and technical education. Programs that serve students predominantly from low-income families would get priority.
The current bill does not come with a price tag. That will be left up to the Appropriations Committee at a later date.
If the bill passes, the grant funds could be used for a variety of purposes including improving teacher effectiveness, integrating STEM and computer science into a state’s already existing programs, increasing work-based learning opportunities, and supporting employment outcomes for students.
“At a time when a great education has never been more important, we must create opportunities for those on the ground to innovate and create new approaches to providing key workforce skills,” Bennet said in a statement.
“In addition to creating a fund for innovation, this bill will help encourage states and communities to engage in pay-for-success initiatives,” he said. “It also promotes vital work-based learning opportunities and apprenticeships, which can be effective pathways to successful careers and well-paying jobs.”
To learn more about the state’s new apprenticeship program, read our story from Wednesday’s event.
And ICYMI, here’s our recent deep dive into STEM education in Colorado.