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DeVos visits Grand Rapids job training programs focused on skilled trades

Aug 1, 2017

Traditional four-year universities aren't the only path to higher education and good jobs. That was the message today from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

DeVos met with Grand Rapids Community College students and faculty as a part of a nationwide tour to see different approaches to higher education. The visit was focused on apprenticeships and the need for skilled trades workers. 

DeVos says she's proud that her hometown offers several ways for students to get higher education and good jobs.

“This community has multiple ways of meeting the needs of students, and is doing so very well and very affectively,” she said.

DeVos said she spoke to a lot of students who originally attended four-year universities "only to find out that they really didn't like sitting at a desk job, so they returned to a program that will allow them to work with their hands."

She has visited several career training programs across the country in recent weeks. While DeVos says none stand out as being noticeably better than the others, they all have unique successes and challenges.

Since her nomination, the education secretary had faced backlash over her views on school choice, including her support of charter schools and private school vouchers. President Trump's proposed budget includes cuts to education, but DeVos says she is confident that her office will still be able to help teachers and students.