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December 14, 2015

Union leader John Dougherty wants public trade school in Philadelphia

Education Unions
John Dougherty Source/

John Dougherty is the business manager of IBEW Local 98.

John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty, the influential business manager of IBEW Local 98, said that he has been in talks with Mayor-Elect Jim Kenney and Governor Tom Wolf about creating a public trade school in Philadelphia, CBS reported.

“We’re already in the education business," Dougherty told CBS, referencing the union's apprenticeship programs. "We just want partners in the city and the public school system in which we can again, entertain opportunities to educate kids more with real-life work opportunities."

There are already five Career and Technical High Schools in Philadelphia where students can study vocational skills, plus many vocational programs in traditional schools. Charter schools like the Electrical and Technology Charter High School teach trades as well.

However, as the Atlantic reported, demand for career and technical education programs can sometimes be far higher than supply. The school district can support technical programs for up to 8,000 students, but it would like to increase that number to 12,000.

See the full story here.