Vocational high schools give inner city students career options

September 28, 2015

In places that struggle with poverty and education, trade-based high schools that provide students marketable skills are emerging. With programs for health care, automotive repair, cooking and construction, students can enter fields that are in demand — and they can make good money ($45,000-$50,000, as one teacher said) right out of high school.

CityLab examined Randolph Technical High School in Philadelphia. The school is drawing significant interest: It’s not unusual to see thousands of students applying for a program with as few as 200 to 300 spaces. At Randolph, the school year began over capacity, with more than 600 students fit into only about 580 openings.

Because of the specialized equipment needed to effectively teach students these trades, funding has been an issue for the school.

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