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New pathways opened for recent high school grads through new tuition assistance program

Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media

A bill providing Delawareans with new pathways to a career was signed by the Gov. Carney Thursday.


A program that’s been a few years in the making finally comes to fruition thanks to legislation from State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn.


That new program provides up to $10,000 in tuition assistance to recent high school graduates to pursue a non-degree certificate program, such as an electrician or a dental assistant.


Pettyjohn says this program opens the door for other opportunities beyond going to college.


“There are so many careers out there right now that don’t require you to have a college degree but require some type of formal training — some type of certification, some type of program before you can practice those occupations. Senate Bill 65 closes that gap finally,” Pettyjohn said.


Pettyjohn says this assistance program is for those students looking to start their career right out of the gate, and get a well paying job through a certificate program.


State Rep. Bill Bush says this bill does something everybody wants, help Delawareans get good jobs.


“Not everyone is on the college path and there are great job opportunities out there for people with skills,” said Bush. “And this will really help bridge that gap and find a way for those who might not be able to afford it or make it easier for them to actually obtain those certificates in order to get great jobs.”


The bill allocates one million dollars for the next two years towards students, meaning if every student applied for the maximum $10,000 amount, the program could serve 100 students per year.


And as of now, the program is set to sunset at the end of 2023, unless extended by lawmakers in the future.


Roman Battaglia is a corps member withReport for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.