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Idaho Launch in-demand career grants open next month

Idaho Governor Brad Little speaking to State Representative James Petzke
James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio
Gov. Brad Little, left, speaking with Rep. James Petzke (R-Meridian) before a press conference at College of Western Idaho.

State lawmakers and education officials celebrated the upcoming kickoff of a tuition grant program open to all Idaho high school graduating seniors at the College of Western Idaho Thursday.

That includes homeschoolers and those earning their GEDs.

Gov. Brad Little and others touted the Idaho Launch initiative amid heavy machines and semi-trucks and how the program can catapult students into in-demand careers operating and servicing such equipment.

“We want people to have more associates’ degrees and more certified training so that all the businesses that are flourishing and would flourish more are going to be successful because they’re going to have the workforce they need for this generation and the next,” Little said

With $80 million allocated by the state legislature earlier this year, up to 10,000 students could receive up to an $8,000 grant, or money to cover up to 80% of their program costs.

“This is a state that with the growth we have, it is the higher ed community and partnership with K-12 where Idaho Launch is going to fuel the powering of the Idaho of tomorrow,” said Gordon Jones, President of CWI.

Applications will be prioritized by students seeking training, certifications or degrees related to in-demand careers as determined annually by the Idaho Workforce Development Council.

The list approved earlier this month includes positions such as electricians, registered nurses and carpenters. You can find the full list here.

Students will be further prioritized, if necessary, based on financial need.

Idaho Launch sparked a legislative backlash earlier this year, with critics saying it amounted to socialism.

The legislation squeezed through the House by a single vote, though it enjoyed more support in the Senate.

Applications for the program will be available beginning Oct. 3 at this website. You can currently sign up for email notifications once state officials begin accepting applications.

The deadline to submit paperwork closes Nov. 30, with awards announced by the end of the year.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2023 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.

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