Four local lawmakers toured schools throughout Southwest Washington last week to learn about career and technical educational opportunities in the run-up to the 2024 legislative session.
The tour included four state representatives on the House Capital Budget Committee: Stephanie McClintock, R-Vancouver, Greg Cheney, R-Battle Ground, Joel McEntire, R-Cathlamet, and Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia.
According to a House Republicans news release, the four legislators visited Lower Columbia College, the Cascadia Tech Academy and Prairie High School to learn about the coordination of the facilities.
"Workforce development is one of our priorities," said Abbarno, the ranking Republican on the House Capital Budget Committee. "The state of Washington must help prepare our students for the workforce of today, tomorrow and into the future. Touring three different styles of career and technical education helps our committee develop policies unique to their industry, community and student needs."
The committee is funded through general obligation bonds, dedicated cash accounts, federal funds and other sources and appropriates money for long-term projects such as schools, parks, public buildings and other public infrastructure.
During the tour, the legislators met with administrators, instructors and students.
"As part of the Capital Budget Committee, it's our duty to make sure these funds are going toward the right programs and facilities," said Cheney. "This was a great opportunity for us to see how our state, and Southwest Washington specifically, is doing at developing new career and technical education opportunities for our young people."
The 60-day 2024 legislative session begins Jan. 8.