Should more students skip a 4-year degree for job training?

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Congressman Jim Renacci thinks there is future growth in manufacturing. 

"Not everybody has to go to college and I think that's the important issue. We're the number one state for college debt because kids are going to college and they're d ropping out and they're finding out they have this debt and they don't even have a college degree," Renacci said.

Congressman Renacci believes in higher education but not at what it's costing some Ohio students.

He is campaigning to get more post-high school training as an alternative.

The congressman wants to give everyone a skill set.

Renacci's thought falls right into the wheel house of the many training programs at Cuyahoga County Community College.

"I really think that there are more options available to kids than they're hearing about," Tri-C Program Director Alicia Booker said.

The students at Tri-C are training and also being exposed to the work world through partnerships with local companies.

Options include:

  • Certifications
  • Apprenticeships
  • Journeyman status
  • Two-year degrees.

It's not all manufacturing.

Other areas are health care, information technology and even 3D printing technology.

Some of the students are fast-tracked right into jobs.

"The cost of the training versus four years versus 16 weeks is substantially different," Booker said.

Booker said students with training can get what she calls good jobs.

She defines that as a job for $50,000 or better.

"We got a lot of great jobs in this state. You can be a welder making $70,000 in Wayne County. You can be a mechanic making $50,000+," Renacci said.

The real key for students and their parents is to talk about interests, goals and finances.

Students should see how those elements fit into the training available.

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