Ore. awards money to expand technical education

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials announced Tuesday that 140 schools will split $8.9 million to boost career and technical education.

The 2011 Legislature approved $2 million to bring back vocational programs to 21 middle schools and high schools, and the 2013 Legislature more than quadrupled that expenditure.

A committee reviewed applications from districts across the state and awarded grant money to 23. Winners included metropolitan districts such as Gresham, Portland and Salem and rural locales such as Enterprise, John Day and Philomath.

In a statement listing the districts that will get money, state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian said Oregon needs a skilled workforce to be competitive, and the grants will give more students access to shop classes as well as applied science, technology, engineering and mathematics instruction.