High School Shop Is Back as Career Tech

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Remember Shop class? For many years it was dropped from high schools and has now returned in a variant called Career Technical Education. And it may be a route to work in high tech manufacturing and other vocations that won’t leave kids drowning in student debt.

To find out more, we start at a lighting company in the City of Industry. That’s where Tommy Vargas uses CNC milling, the digitized cutting of metal, to fabricate light fixtures that require a high level of precision. It's a skill that's now being taught at Van Nuys High School, along with automotive and other skills for today’s industrial needs. We hear from students David AvalosJasmin Benitez, Alejandro Martinez and automotive teacher Joseph Agruso about the impact of this training. And we ask: is it available to all?

Van Nuys High School Principal Yolanda Gardea and machine class instructor Jose Castro
Photo by Avishay Artsy