Vocational School Gets the Last Laugh – Education, a Job and No Debt
Teens are learning the value of a trade school education and the benefits of high-tech factory jobs.
Kids used to go to college to avoid working minimum-wage jobs in factories. But nowadays kids are going to vocational school to get high-tech factory jobs working with programs and robotics.
“People always make fun of vocational schools, but now they’re like, ‘Oh man, I wish I went there,’” said Adams, now a junior at Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School, where every recent graduate found a job upon graduating.
In Massachusetts, where the school is located, the average starting salary in manufacturing is about $45,000. “I can make as much money as someone going to college, coming straight out of high school, and I don’t have to pay for college loans or anything like that,” Adams said.
Pathfinder is a beneficiary of a program called “Amp It Up,” a Massachusetts initiative to encourage students to explore careers in advanced manufacturing. Instead of offering dark and dusty shops full of woodworking or table saws, many vocational schools are now full of state-of-the art machines and that teach students code, programming and design skills.
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