As part of efforts to emphasize the need to reinvest in trade schools, State Representative La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, led a joint hearing of the House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee and House Higher Education Committee on Monday, virtually and in-person at the Bilandic Building in Chicago. Ford believes that traditional educational system leaves too many people behind and locks them out of the mainstream economy. Therefore, his goal is to connect students to new opportunities that give people hope and can end the ongoing violence in Chicago. “Just in the last week, I was able to tour an aviation trade school in Chicago – the Aviation Institute of Maintenance – that trains mechanics for United, American, Southwest, and also meet with an Illinois trade school – Escoffier School of Culinary Arts – which is headquartered in Schaumburg and trains chefs and culinary professionals,” Ford said. “Trade schools should be a foundational part of our education system, opening doors for young adults to pursue well-paying careers in demand.” Ford notes that Illinois had a long tradition of effective vocational schools, including Chicago’s Washburne Trade School, which served to train thousands of skilled workers through a public-private partnership with public educators, building contractors and trade unions. Monday’s hearing will discuss the possibility of how Illinois can reinstitute trade schools and reengage young adults to consider a trade career.
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August 25, 2021 at 10:49PM