TUCSON, Ariz. — Governor Doug Ducey called for a renewed focus on career and technical training in his state of the state address this week.
“These are programs we plan to build, expand and align with the jobs of tomorrow. And my budget will do just that," said the governor.
The Joint Technological Education District spokesperson says JTED could stand to gain more funding when the governor announces his budget.
KGUN9 sat in on a construction class where many of the students already know what they want to do after high school.
“It's going to set me up for my future,” said student Louis Villa. “I plan on owning my own business pretty soon. This is going to help me a lot."
Not many of their peers have such a blue print.
“I'm not sure exactly yet,” said student Lorenzo Nourjin. “But I want to have everything I can in my tool belt so I have the doors open for when I’m done with high school.”
Louis and Lorenzo are two students getting technical training at JTED. They will earn two certificates in safety and one in welding before they graduate.
“I've done welding, carpentry, masonry,” said Villa. “and I even run heavy equipment after school at another program.”
Today their teacher has them making a cutting board in the shape of the Grand Canyon state.
“We have this huge skill gap,” said teacher Craig Bal. “I can get these kids right into the industry making money.”
Bal says he doesn't know what will be in the governor's budget, but he says this kind of training is needed.
“We need more vocational programs, we need more skilled labor out there, and we need to teach these kids not just math and English and everything like that, we need to teach them professional skills.”
For these students it may be the first step in a promising career.
“Later on I want to be able to tell my kids hey I built that, hey I was part of that project, hey I did this and was part of all these buildings in this town,” said Villa.