Around the state: Career and technical education getting boost

Around the state - Rep. Marty Flynn

Everyone at some point in their lives has called a plumber, carpenter or an electrician because they didn’t know how to tackle a household emergency or ongoing project.

We do need more trades people in Pennsylvania. I am happy to report the General Assembly is putting more of its financial resources into upgrading the state’s career education system.

I am talking about S.B. 89, which senators recently passed to improve the state’s career and technical education system.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Senate increased funding, including $10 million for a Career and Technical Education subsidy, steering the funding to Career Technical Centers and school districts.

Four million dollars will be allocated through the formula-driven Career and Technical Education Equipment Grant line and $6 million for the Career and Technical Education subsidy.

The legislation is intended to make it easier for students to get a technical education by updating the system, streamlining the process for students to receive and transfer credits, and remove barriers so students have access to different training options and more choices to make in their careers.

The legislation is the result of combined language from bills in the state House and state Senate.

I believe there is no one-size-fits-all education path for our high school students. Attending college is not for everyone.

Career and technical education in Pennsylvania offer students the opportunity to develop skills through hands-on learning experiences and classes.

This is good training, which can lead to good-paying jobs.

According to the Pennsylvania Vocational Public Schools Report for the 2019-20 school year, there are 82 top vocational public schools in Pennsylvania.

I am proud to be a strong supporter of Johnson College in my home district. The college offers 14 associate degree programs in technology, health services and the business fields. The programs feature small class sizes, industry driven curriculum and “hands-on” learning while providing students with general education courses as part of their program.

It is the only technology driven college in our region that offers a partnership with employers.

Another quality school in my district is the Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County. The facility includes eight school districts and provides instruction in 17 different career areas.

Many students consider vocational education and training, which can make them quite marketable in the workforce. The courses are designed to provide students specialized information about a specific field of study.

Another advantage of vocational training is the fact that it increases employment chances while providing learning on the job.

Vocational training is like a job apprenticeship. You get vocational education and training in a short time compared to other educational programs, which can require three to four years of extensive studies to earn a degree.

One of the advantages of a trade school is that you earn relevant skills in less time.

Another point to highlight is that vocational schools in Pennsylvania are accredited and participate in various student aid programs.

Workforce development is the key to our state’s development, and this is one aspect of a career choice that would help us to maintain a competitive work force.

Around the state

Rep. Marty Flynn

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-991-6405 or by email at

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-991-6405 or by email at