In last night's post, Classified as "Comedy": League of Women Voters Forum for MN 2B & 4B YouTube, we noted that the Youtube of the event in Detroit Lakes had been placed in the category "Comedy."
As we watch the event, we begin to see why (although the DL LWV has now corrected the slip).
Asked about how the legislature might devise programs to create jobs and attract qualified workers, Green said:
Here's a transcript of the clip above:
But what I would like to see is the vocational training and more of a move away from the four-year college, not certainly eliminating it, but a push toward the vocational schools because we have people coming out of vocational schools that are making five figures now and they're good jobs.
Bluestem certainly hopes that graduates of Minnesota's technical schools are making five-figures when they are hired, since even a fulltime minimum wage job pays $16,640 annually, according to this online calculator.
Perhaps that's why Green's remarks recalled Dr. Evil's comic demand for ransom in the first Austin Powers flick, baby.
How much do recent certificate, two-year and four-year degree graduates earn? The chart above is taken from an article reporting at MinnPost by Trending editor of Twin Cities Business Liz Fedor, How a new state website is helping students make college pay.
The chart is accompanied by this explanatory text:
Graduates of two-year and four-year programs earn similar wages shortly after graduation
The state of Minnesota recently released wage information that shows, on average, that people with bachelor’s degrees are earning only slightly more than people with two-year associate degrees. The bar chart shows what Minnesotans were earning in their second year after completing their academic programs. The percentage on the bottom of each bar shows what portion of the Class of 2011 graduates were working full time. Detailed wage information about specific academic programs is available on the Minnesota DEED website.
Those who land fulltime jobs are all making five-figures, but a certificate or two-year degree is no more a guarantee of employment than a four-year degree.
But perhaps more important, candidates like Green and Dale Lueck in 10B seem to imagine a world where tuition freezes at MNSCU only exist to help students seeking four-year degrees. However, MNSCU is home to the public technical and comprehensive community colleges where certificates, diplomas and associate degrees are awarded.
As Bluestem pointed out in Radinovich schools opponent on tuition freeze after Lueck forgets his generation's advantage, what used to be called "vo-tech" post-secondary education hasn't been free for those attending for over a generation. Speaking of college, Radinovich notes how the cost of post-secondary education has been shifted from funding the institutions and keeping the cost of tuition low to shifting the costs to students and their families.
A similiar dynamic occured as regional "vo-tech" schools moved from being tuition-free for most students.
Green isn't the only Republican carrying on about tech school over four-year degrees, and while vocational and technical programs are a great choice for many young Minnesotans' career plans, funneling most students into such programs won't change the cost of getting a "piece of paper" at MNSCU or the University of Minnesota--and the private tech schools cost even more.
Indeed, Bluestem has to wonder why--if the Republican caucus sees tech education as such a panecea for both job creation and addressing the student debt crisis--that they're not urging a return to the system of free vo-tech schools. Read more in an earlier post about Green's fondness for tech schools in MN 2B: Steve Green on freezing tuition; or, the U of MN is moving to become a two-year college.
As we've reported in earlier posts, like MN2B: in epic rant, freshman Steve Green stirs gun rights, immigration, terrorism & Ebola fears, MN2B has been targeted as a potential DFL pick-up by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.
Photo: Dr. Evil from Austin Powers, a moment channeled by Steve Green in his "five-figure" salary comment.
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