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Vocational and Technical Education for the Future Act

Location: Washington, DC

VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION FOR THE FUTURE ACT -- (House of Representatives - May 04, 2005)

Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

I rise today in support of H.R. 366. In today's competitive economies, students must be equipped not only with the technical skills of their chosen field, but basic academic knowledge as well. Realizing this, H.R. 366 focuses on academics. I am particularly pleased that the bill is designed to support student achievement in core academic subjects, including math and science.

I think we can agree that our new high tech economy demands that students have stronger math, science, engineering and technological skills.

Mr. Chairman, vocational education works. Earlier this year I toured two vocational centers in my district, the Technology Center of DuPage County and the Will County Career Center. Several of the students there told me without vocational education programs, they would not be in school.

For whatever reason, they were not interested in the traditional high school education or going on to a traditional 4-year college. Instead of these students slipping through the cracks, they are learning cutting-edge technology in some of the fastest growing career fields: aerospace, computer technology and engineering, health care and aviation, just to name a few. Other students have already been accepted to college and are augmenting their education with technical classes. For example, many students in the health care program will go on to college nursing programs next year. Through vocational ed programs, they can take classes for college credit while still in high school. Not only do these students go to college already having the basic skills needed in their field; it takes them less time to complete their training. The sooner these students finish their training, the sooner they are out earning good paychecks and the sooner we are able to get highly skilled workers in high-demand fields.

H.R. 366 will help the students in my district and all across the country get even more out of their education. I am proud to support this bill, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.

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