Vocational education has always been a passion for Matthew Mann. In his current role as the Director of Education at North American Trade Schools in Baltimore, he has an opportunity to be the true voice for vocational education to light the issues today’s economy faces.

What he calls as the “redheaded stepchild of the academia world,” Matthew Mann realizes that people think the only way vocational education is relevant is to deal with discipline-style students. However, since the late 90s, vocational education and the trades play a major role in the operation of our economy.

But with the way society is structured, baby boomers can’t physically handle vocational jobs anymore and are retiring. On top of that, today’s millennials never had the trades as part of their lives growing up. Matthew Mann believes that if we don’t address the skills gap between now and 2020, there will be entire industries going away because we don’t have the workforce to do the jobs anymore.

As a big proponent of vocational education, Matthew Mann wants to nurture the concept, see it grow, and spread the word about its importance in today’s society. Below are a few resources that can assist with that.

Vocational Education in the US

The 1990 Perkins Act defines vocational education as “organized educational programs offering a sequence of courses which are directly related to the preparation of individuals in paid or unpaid employment in current or emerging occupations requiring other than a baccalaureate or advanced degree.”

Why we need vocational education

This was written by Mark Phillips, professor emeritus of secondary education at San Francisco State University. This was written for his blog on Edutopia , and he also publishes a monthly column on education for the Marin Independent Journal. By Mark Phillips I was hired by Norway’s Ministry of Education to train vocational education teachers some years ago .

Analysis | What vocational education students need today – but aren’t likely to get under Trump

Mike Rose is a research professor in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies who explores the promise of public education and the problems of modern school reform.

Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools

Instructor helps a student participating in a woodworking manufacturing training program in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg Charlie Negron Throughout most of U.S. history, American high school students were routinely taught vocational and job-ready skills along with the three Rs: reading, writing and arithmetic. Indeed readers of a certain age are […]

Vocational Schools Face Deep Cuts in Federal Funding

The administration has proposed a 20 percent reduction in its fiscal 2012 budget for career and technical education, to a little more than $1 billion, even as it seeks to increase overall education funding by 11 percent.

Vocational education is real education

Vocational education has a bad rep, says Nisha Choksi, who studies the effect of vocational training on economic development. “Some people believe that students go into vocational education if they’re troublemakers or low-achievers,” Choksi says at TEDxCranbrookSchoolsWomen. “Other people think that vocational education is for those individuals who don’t want to go to college or could never get in.