Vocational H.S. waiting lists are getting longer

Springfield had a waiting list of more than 300 students

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Vocational high schools are so popular now, there are waiting lists to get in. There are especially long lists in communities with large minority populations and high unemployment.

Northeastern University researchers found Putnam Vocational and Technical Academy in Springfield had a waiting list of more than 300 students.

22News went to Westfield Vocational High School where there’s a waiting list of 30 students. The head of the Information Technology shop, Jeff Richardson, said why he thinks his field is the most popular.

“Everything from learning the skills you need to enter a trade, going on coop and working an industry before you graduate, to having articulation agreements and earning college credit even before you’ve graduated,” said Richardson.

He said if students do want to go on to college, it’s cheaper for them because they can get college credit for classes they took in high school.

A challenge now for many vocational schools is in expanding to accommodate so many interested students, since there are relatively high-paying jobs for them in the workforce.

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