(Greenwood, Ind.) - Mike Pence unveiled his first major policy proposal Tuesday as he runs for Indiana Governor.
The Indiana Sixth District U.S. Congressman’s plan would require Indiana’s high schools to make career, technical, and vocational education as much a priority as college prep.
“To make Indiana the state that works, we should start by making sure that every student has the opportunity to start on success," Pence said during a press conference in Greenwood. "The time has come to make career, technical and vocational education a priority in every high school in Indiana."
Pence - who faces former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg, a Democrat, and Libertarian candidate Rupert Boneham in the November general election - said his plan can bridge what he called a “skills gap” in Indiana’s workforce.
One reason for the change, Pence said, in 2011 only 1 percent (1,010) of all high school graduates earned a Core40 with Technical Honors degree, and yet Indiana has the third highest percentage of high school graduates in our workforce.
Second, technical certificates and associate degree holders make more money than people with a bachelor’s degree. According to a Pence e-mail, while the median earnings of a worker with a bachelor's degree are $36,662, the median earnings for a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related certificate are $45,554 and $51,737 for a STEM-related associate degree.
"We should aspire to have the best-educated and best-skilled high school graduates in the country," said Pence. "All honest work is honorable work, and we should honor that principle in our high schools in Indiana."