Peoria area Congressman Darin Lahood says he's confident vocational tech programs currently funded with federal dollars will continue. The Carl Perkins Act is due to expire soon. But the congressman says even with President Trump's proposed budget cuts, Central Illinois vo-tech students should be okay.
With plans to add a law enforcement curriculum at Woodruff Career and Technical Center next year Peoria public schools is looking to increase vocational classes.
"These are credited jobs, certified jobs and great jobs that provide good salaries benefits and can make a really good career," said Peoria Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat.
The Superintendent says she would like to see even more apprentice programs added to the curriculum. The federal program provides almost $1.3-billion dollars to teach and expose students to vocational career paths.
One educator says in the past many high school students lacked exposure to vocational opportunities. But nowadays they have much easier access to these programs through the public schools.
"This is crucial as far as filling the career pipeline in our society," Chris Kendall said.
"Your're gonna have bipartisian support on this issue on both sides of the aisle. I think this is a win win for our communities. The more that we can encourage young folks to be engaged with businesses with companies on apprenticeship is great for our community," said 18th District Congressman Darin Lahood.
Lahood says later on this week the House will vote on reauthorization of the bill, then it goes to the senate.
The current bill was passed with nearly unanimous support a decade ago. It expires in a few weeks.