OPINION: LAUNCH is live!Tuesday October 3, 2023
Grants to support education and training after high school now open for applications
By Governor Brad Little
High school seniors looking ahead to life after graduation are thinking, “What’s next?” So are their parents!
We know they want fulfilling careers and higher incomes.
We know their loving parents want the same for them, too.
And we know the strength of our state and our nation depends on these kids. Our national security and sovereignty require a skilled workforce so we can compete with China and other aggressors who want to do America harm. We cannot stay a global leader in the economy if we fall behind in educating and training the next generation to meet the demands of an ever-evolving, dynamic economy.
Our young Idahoans hold so much promise and potential, and we want to do all we can to get them to stay in Idaho and thrive in Idaho.
Yet, the jobs of today demand specialized skill sets that require education and training after high school.
Simply put, for the vast majority of Idahoans, high school isn’t enough.
But the cost and accessibility of those programs after high school stand in the way for too many young Idahoans.
LAUNCH will help.
Our new LAUNCH grants will cover 80 percent of the cost of an in-state program that leads to an in-demand career, up to $8,000.
There are hundreds of career paths and programs to choose from, and if they are still weighing their options, they can update their choices later.
LAUNCH is live and open for applications now at https://nextsteps.idaho.gov/launch.
If you’re a high school senior or the parent of a high school senior, do not delay in applying for a LAUNCH grant. There is only enough money to offer grants to half of Idaho’s high school seniors, and some of the most popular programs will fill up quickly.
Idaho has always supported scholarships for high school graduates to pursue traditional four-year university programs.
That’s important, but we recognized the need to support all paths – from nursing to welding to computer science to plumbing to teaching to animal science to trucking and everything in between. LAUNCH can be used for apprenticeships, job training, and community college as well as university programs.
The hundreds of LAUNCH career paths available are market-driven – these are “real world” jobs our employers desperately need to fill.
So, what is the answer to high school seniors and their parents asking the question, “What’s next?”
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