When cities and towns first started seeing the genesis of vocational training, i.e. skilled trades workshops for hands-on education and learning, it was towards the end of World War I with the passage of the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917, according to American Radioworks. The country anticipated a need for workforce training, especially for those who were not likely to pursue a college degree, which was far more rare an option back then.
Similar to what happens in modern European education, the program created what is known as tracking. Tracking describes a method in which students are designated for an educational path that they are most likely to succeed at—university or skilled trades training. The school system at the time was realizing a glut of children from rural and immigrant communities, so these children became the front line of technical training to make teens “factory-ready.”
Federal Funding Today
Fast-forward to today, and federal government programs still exist, distributed down to the local level through a variety of funding programs ranging from educational support to targeted economic development. Funds are sent through states that guarantee they will utilize 85 percent of the funds directly down to the student level through eligible training centers and programs. These are known as local education centers or LEAs, standard 2 and 4-year colleges, area specific training centers for skill retraining, and education institutions for specific populations such as those run by the Department of Interior.
Federal Grant Programs
According to the Department of Education, federal grant recipient programs at the local level need to be able to show they do the following:
- Strengthen vocational training by combining skill training with academic education in structured sequence of classes.
- Develop a strong understanding of an industry in participating students.
- Expand and improve knowledge of industry-specific technology in students.
- Provide ongoing education improvement for teachers in such programs.
- Coordinate with requirements of a Perkins Act program, as well as provide reporting on how specific population groups’ training needs are being met.
- Begin, enhance and modernize vocational programs.
- Provide training and education that is effective and matches the size and need of the local population.
- Provides connections to federal programs such as Tech-Prep and Perkins IV Programs of Study.
Where possible, states are encouraged to match in or add their own funds to enhance the total funding available. Those grants that states receive from the federal government are then targeted to high school students, local post-secondary schools, and regional technical centers.
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Find Funding for TWS
As described above, some federal and state funding sources are available to help welding students cover the cost of attending trade school. Tulsa Welding School is among a number of training centers and regional entities that are specifically geared to provide students vocational training that translates into job opportunities upon graduation. In the same spirit as the original vocational training efforts started in 1917, TWS’ programs focus on giving students solid training in welding, as well as opportunities for additional educational advancement.
Programs like TWS offer a variety of financial support opportunities for eligible students. Every student would do well by always keeping their eyes open for any financial aid opportunities. Paying for your welding education does not have to be insurmountable. Contact TWS today to find out if you qualify for financial aid.