Schools need state funding to train for in-demand jobs

Schools need contemporary equipment to train

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Sanding and digital programming, they may look and sound like working professionals, but the students at the Westfield Technical Academy are among many across the state learning important skills for in-demand careers.

For students like Douglas Kapinos, technical school means a direct path to a career.

“I don’t have to spend all the money on college- even though many students choose to go on to college- I don’t have to. I can just go right into the workforce and I can continue to work right out of school,” Kapinos said.

Just this week, there has been a greater push at the state level to increase funding specifically for vocational schools all across Massachusetts .Governor Charlie Baker’s fiscal 2017 budget is showing that he wants technical school funding to go up to nearly $5.5 million— up from the $3 million it received in the 2016 budget

Westfield Technical Academy Principal Stefan Czaporowski told 22News that right now, they typically need to use grant money to buy specialty machines and equipment.

“Our budgets typically don’t have that type of money to be able to purchase that sort of equipment. Our manufacturing program alone, some of the equipment there costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and cities just don’t have the funding these days,” Czaporowski said.

He argued more funding is needed so these schools can keep equipment up to date with what’s being using in today’s workforce.

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