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Pence wants more vocational and technical education in high schools

INDIANAPOLIS -- GOP Gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence wants to in cease vocational and technical education to help close the skills gap.

The GOP candidate announced his plan at Central Nine Vocational School in Johnson County.

Pence said that while Indiana is good at graduating students from high school, they are not preparing students for the work force. He believes that by closing the gap will make it easier for Hoosiers to find jobs and for employers to find skilled labor to fill their workforces.

"Indiana has the third highest number of high school graduates as a percentage of our work force of any state in the country," Pence said. "Yet, here's fact number two. According to the Department of Education in 2011, just one percent of all high school graduates earned a Core 40 with technical honors diploma."

This makes it hard for employers who want skilled employees. By putting more emphasis on the technical and vocational education, students will be able to pursue internships and achieve certification that will help them land jobs after graduation. In may cases, these jobs often pay more than those with bachelor's degrees.

Pence hopes to round up support from the business. One electrical contractor says he has found it hard to fill his open positions.

Pence's fall opponent, John Gregg says he is glad that Pence is thinking about education but that challenged him on his voting record.

"I'm glad he's finally announcing something. I hope he tells how he pays for it. This is the first thing I know that he's announce since he's been a candidate," Gregg said.

State School Superintendent Tony Bennett supports Pence's plan. He called it a step in the right direction.

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