There is a significant need to fill industry gaps nationwide. Children for too long have been told that college is the only way. I propose a few options which will increase the hire-ability of the next generation.
The United States budgeted for $22,475,352 in Federal Pell Grant spending in 2019.
The Pell Grants provide for up to about $5,500 per year per eligible student. These students have no restrictions on what degrees they can pursue with funds that never have to be repaid and will never cover the full cost of their education.
While Pell Grants can be used for some vocational training, we need to open it up to more trades and in-demand careers.
There are huge gaps and more gaps coming in the future that will require skilled workers who could be trained without spending 4+ years paying rent, utilities, and groceries by allowing for more Pell Grant money "up front", paid directly to vocational schools - getting these young men and women into careers in less than half that of traditional college education.
These people will have less debt due to the shorter span of training and great wages. This solves a need for qualified employees in the industries in and around our district, providing training opportunities in highly skilled careers that will last a lifetime.