My staff and I recently had the opportunity to visit Job Corps in Clearfield, Utah. I took this opportunity to tour the Job Corps campus to see their perspective and approach to providing higher education options to at-risk youth along the Wasatch Front. I am grateful to Job Corps and their staff for allowing my staff and I to stop by.
Visiting Job Corps again reminded me of the growing opportunity gap faced by our nation's youth in higher education. Because of a lack of access to options in higher education, many students who do not fit the model of a four-year college degree are prohibited from pursuing further education post-high school. The truth is, a four-year college degree is not the best option for every student. These students need access to skills that current colleges aren’t teaching, at prices that four-year residential institutions can’t afford, and on timelines the academic calendar can’t accommodate.
A bill I introduced in 2013, the Higher Education and College Opportunity Act, would help solve these issues. We don’t need to dump our higher education system; we just need to open it up to more students and teachers. The point of higher education policy should be to make it easier for good teachers to teach, willing students to learn, and to help the economy to grow. Click here to take a closer look at the Higher Education and College Opportunity Act.
Although my bill takes a different approach than Job Corps to solving issues with higher education, I appeciated the opportuinty to visit with them about how we both can improve the education system in our nation. I am convinced that as access and options to higher education are increased, more students will pursue an education, and our nation's economy will flourish as a result.
Newly completed dormitories at the Job Corps Campus in Clearfield
Meeting with students and staff at Job Corps for a town hall Q&A
Taking a tour of the manufacturing and electrical program on campus at Job Corps
Samantha and Marcos, two welding students at Job Corps in Clearfield