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Putting every kid on the path to a good-paying job

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Every hard-working Coloradans deserve a chance to find a good-paying job. Many young people in our state — including soon-to-be high school grads — are hungry for an opportunity to work hard, earn a good living and build a secure future for themselves and their family. For many kids, a four-year college degree is the right path. But kids should be able to access opportunities to find a good career.

That is why I am pushing to expand vocational technical training programs. With apprenticeships and vocational education, we can put all students on the path to a good-paying job, even if they aren’t going to college. That’s why I am sponsoring HB18-1341; the Apprenticeship and Vocational Technical Training bill.

By expanding access to apprenticeship and vocational technical training opportunities, we are helping connect Coloradans to great careers while growing a workforce that helps Colorado better compete in the global economy.

Right now it is hard for students, career counselors and job hunters to find these opportunities. HB-1341 fixes that by creating a Colorado state apprenticeship resource directory. As we work to support more STEM programs in public schools, we can do more by helping connect a future employee to a good-paying industry that gives them real-world, on-the-job training experience.

Not everyone wants to or can go to college. It may not be right for them. It may be hard for a student and their family to take on student loan debt, and then graduate into an uncertain future.

On the other hand, many apprenticeships allow students to “earn while you learn,” often paying enrollees while they are in the program, then assisting in job placement in industries where workers are much-needed and can start out earning $60,000+ per year with benefits.

When looking into attending a community college, four year-college, or university, there are lots of publications that serve as guides to help choose the best program and the right fit. We need that kind of resource to help those young Coloradans who want to get into a stable, good-paying career through an apprenticeship program. I am working hard to put every Colorado kid on the path to a good-paying job, whether or not they are going to college.

It’s vital to Colorado’s economic competitiveness that we support apprenticeships and vocational technical training. It’s one commonsense way we can help Colorado families build secure futures for themselves and their kids.

Jessie Danielson represents State House District 24 in Jefferson County, and serves as Speaker Pro Tempore of the state House of Representatives. Rep. Danielson’s legislative office phone is 303- 866-5522. Her website is .jessiedanielson.com.

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