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A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

Recent Posts

  • 09.17.14

    A company short on skilled workers creates its own college-degree program

    At a Toyota plant in Kentucky, young people are learning how to fix robots, earning associate's degrees and graduating with jobs that pay up to $80,000 a year.
  • 09.11.14

    A 21st-century vocational high school

    For years, vocational education was seen as a lesser form of schooling, tracking some kids into programs that ended up limiting their future opportunities. Today, in the nation's best vocational programs, things are different.
  • 09.10.14

    Career academies: A new twist on vocational ed

    Across the country, thousands of high schools are transforming into career academies. The idea is that students will be more engaged if they see how academics are connected to the world of work. And they’ll be more likely to get the postsecondary schooling they need to support themselves in today’s economy.
  • 09.09.14

    The troubled history of vocational education

    Vocational education was once used to track low-income students off to work while wealthier kids went to college. But advocates for today's career and technical education say things have changed, and graduates of vocational programs may have the advantage over graduates of traditional high schools.

American RadioWorks |
A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

Recent Posts

  • 09.17.14

    A company short on skilled workers creates its own college-degree program

    At a Toyota plant in Kentucky, young people are learning how to fix robots, earning associate's degrees and graduating with jobs that pay up to $80,000 a year.
  • 09.11.14

    A 21st-century vocational high school

    For years, vocational education was seen as a lesser form of schooling, tracking some kids into programs that ended up limiting their future opportunities. Today, in the nation's best vocational programs, things are different.
  • 09.10.14

    Career academies: A new twist on vocational ed

    Across the country, thousands of high schools are transforming into career academies. The idea is that students will be more engaged if they see how academics are connected to the world of work. And they’ll be more likely to get the postsecondary schooling they need to support themselves in today’s economy.
  • 09.09.14

    The troubled history of vocational education

    Vocational education was once used to track low-income students off to work while wealthier kids went to college. But advocates for today's career and technical education say things have changed, and graduates of vocational programs may have the advantage over graduates of traditional high schools.

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ENGEL, ELIOT, Democratic Party
New York

Total number of trips - 25
Total cost of trips - $89,635.10

Average cost per trip - $3,585.40
Total number of days spent traveling - 115 days
Rank of representative - 47 (Out of 638)


Individual trips


Sponsor(s) - Aspen Institute
Dates - February 17, 2000 - February 22, 2000 (6 days)
Location(s) - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Purpose - Participation in conference on global environment
Notes - Spouse Pat Engel accompanied

Travel Cost - $1,627.60
Lodging Cost - $1,924.00
Meal Cost - $1,280.00
Other Cost - $200.00
Total Cost - $5,031.60

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
Dates - October 13, 2001 - October 15, 2001 (3 days)
Location(s) - Boston, MA

Purpose - participate in AIPAC's National Summit
Notes -

Travel Cost - $242.96
Lodging Cost - $543.50
Meal Cost - $152.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $938.46

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - National Association of Broadcasters
Dates - April 20, 2001 - April 23, 2001 (4 days)
Location(s) - Las Vegas, NV

Purpose - speak at convention and meet w/ association members
Notes -

Travel Cost - $2,447.00
Lodging Cost - $1,128.04
Meal Cost - $175.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $3,750.04

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Association of American Railroads
Dates - July 3, 2001 - July 10, 2001 (8 days)
Location(s) - MT - WY

Purpose - to attend legislative conference
Notes - dates at personal expense=07/03/2001-07/06/2001; spouse, Patricia

Travel Cost - $1,792.05
Lodging Cost - $960.00
Meal Cost - $350.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $3,102.05

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - National Cable Television Association
Dates - June 9, 2001 - June 12, 2001 (4 days)
Location(s) - Chicago, IL

Purpose - to participate in NCTA Convention
Notes -

Travel Cost - $1,436.00
Lodging Cost - $1,468.89
Meal Cost - $89.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $2,993.89

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Aspen Institute
Dates - March 9, 2001 - March 11, 2001 (3 days)
Location(s) - White Sulphur Springs, WV

Purpose - bipartisan congressional retreat
Notes - spouse, Patricia; lodging expenses includes meals

Travel Cost - $252.00
Lodging Cost - $1,320.00
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $1,572.00

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Jewish Confederation of Ukraine
Dates - September 28, 2001 - October 3, 2001 (6 days)
Location(s) - Ukraine - Belarus

Purpose - to attend anniversary celebration of Babiy Yar Tragedy
Notes - meal expenses included in lodging; dates at personal expense=10/01/2001-10/03/2001

Travel Cost - $4,420.00
Lodging Cost - $555.00
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $4,975.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Association of American Railroads
Dates - January 17, 2002 - January 21, 2002 (5 days)
Location(s) - Aventura, FL

Purpose - Participate in 2002 legislative conference
Notes - accompanied by spouse Patricia Engel.

Travel Cost - $711.06
Lodging Cost - $2,201.18
Meal Cost - $830.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $3,742.24

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
Dates - May 13, 2002 - May 14, 2002 (2 days)
Location(s) - Boston, MA

Purpose - Participate in AIPAC dinner
Notes -

Travel Cost - $211.50
Lodging Cost - $249.76
Meal Cost - $100.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $561.26

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - IDT Corporation
Dates - February 20, 2002 - February 20, 2002 (1 days)
Location(s) - Raleigh, NC

Purpose - meeting with Jonathan Pollard
Notes -

Travel Cost - $187.00
Lodging Cost -
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $187.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
Dates - October 6, 2002 - October 7, 2002 (2 days)
Location(s) - Atlanta, GA

Purpose - To participate in AIPAC's summit meeting
Notes -

Travel Cost - $929.50
Lodging Cost - $190.00
Meal Cost - $183.63
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $1,303.13

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Public Governance Institute
Dates - February 28, 2003 - March 2, 2003 (3 days)
Location(s) - White Sulphur Springs, WV

Purpose - Congressional Retreat 2003
Notes - Spouse Patricia Engel accompanied. Meals included in lodgings.

Travel Cost - $350.00
Lodging Cost - $1,226.00
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $1,576.00

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - National Association of Broadcasters
Dates - April 4, 2003 - April 7, 2003 (4 days)
Location(s) - Las Vegas, NV

Purpose - Participation in National Association of Broadcasters 2003 Convention
Notes - Spouse Patricia Engel accompanied.

Travel Cost - $4,245.00
Lodging Cost - $2,260.30
Meal Cost - $150.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $6,655.30

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Inc.
Dates - August 17, 2003 - August 22, 2003 (6 days)
Location(s) - London, England - Israel

Purpose - Participate in meetings with elected and community leaders
Notes - Child Jonathan Engel accompanied. Other costs are for bus, guides, and admission fees.

Travel Cost - $5,257.20
Lodging Cost - $880.00
Meal Cost - $370.00
Other Cost - $934.00
Total Cost - $7,441.20

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Jerusalem Summit
Dates - October 11, 2003 - October 15, 2003 (5 days)
Location(s) - Tel Aviv, Israel

Purpose - Participate in summit
Notes -

Travel Cost - $3,500.00
Lodging Cost - $836.00
Meal Cost - $145.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $4,481.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - American Sugar Alliance
Dates - August 2, 2003 - August 8, 2003 (7 days)
Location(s) - Seattle, WA

Purpose - Not specified
Notes - Child Jonathan Engel accompanied. August 6-8th were at personal expense.

Travel Cost - $3,861.20
Lodging Cost - $890.20
Meal Cost - $232.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $4,983.40

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - National Association of Broadcasters
Dates - October 2, 2003 - October 3, 2003 (2 days)
Location(s) - Philadelphia, PA

Purpose - Participate in National Association of Broadcasters radio show
Notes -

Travel Cost - $334.00
Lodging Cost - $404.00
Meal Cost - $138.23
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $876.23

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Consumer Electronics Association
Dates - January 7, 2004 - January 12, 2004 (6 days)
Location(s) - Las Vegas, NV

Purpose - participate in 2004 International CES
Notes - with SeRoy Engel - first and last days of trip at personal expense

Travel Cost - $556.10
Lodging Cost - $2,432.88
Meal Cost - $1,010.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $3,998.98

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - American Association of Railroads
Dates - January 12, 2004 - January 19, 2004 (8 days)
Location(s) - Las Vegas, NV - La Jolla, CA - FL

Purpose - participate in AAR's Legislative Conference
Notes - with SeRoy Engel

Travel Cost - $2,743.29
Lodging Cost - $652.00
Meal Cost - $640.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $4,035.29

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - National Cable and Telecommunications Association
Dates - May 1, 2004 - May 3, 2004 (3 days)
Location(s) - New Orleans, LA

Purpose - participation in annual convention
Notes - with child Julia Engel

Travel Cost - $4,153.69
Lodging Cost - $687.27
Meal Cost - $426.20
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $5,267.16

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Assn of American Railroads
Dates - February 18, 2005 - February 22, 2005 (5 days)
Location(s) - FL

Purpose - Participate in and attend the Association of American Railroad's Legislative Conference
Notes - Washington - Florida - Washington Personal Expense 2-21 to 2-22

Travel Cost - $1,538.22
Lodging Cost - $1,383.00
Meal Cost - $1,020.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $3,941.22

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - AIPAC
Dates - October 1, 2004 - October 4, 2004 (4 days)
Location(s) - Las Vegas, NV

Purpose - Participation in Annual Gala
Notes - Washington - Las Vegas - Washington

Travel Cost - $1,971.38
Lodging Cost - $486.71
Meal Cost -
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $2,458.09

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Dates - March 21, 2005 - March 24, 2005 (4 days)
Location(s) - Krakow, Poland - Warsaw, Poland

Purpose - Exploring 1000 years of Jewish presence on Polish Soil
Notes - Washington - Krakow - Warsaw - Washington

Travel Cost - $3,011.00
Lodging Cost - $345.00
Meal Cost - $166.00
Other Cost - $37.00
Total Cost - $3,559.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - National Assn of Broadcasters
Dates - April 16, 2005 - April 19, 2005 (4 days)
Location(s) - Las Vegas, NV

Purpose - Participate in annual conference
Notes - Washington - Las Vegas - Washington Including spouse

Travel Cost - $2,467.20
Lodging Cost - $2,043.75
Meal Cost - $822.61
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $5,333.56

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - National Albanian American Council
Dates - July 1, 2005 - July 10, 2005 (10 days)
Location(s) - Albania

Purpose - To monitor Albanian parliamentary elections & to meet with various leaders throughout the Balkans
Notes - Washington - Albania - Montenegro - Kosovo - New York

Travel Cost - $4,982.00
Lodging Cost - $1,120.00
Meal Cost - $770.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $6,872.00

Additional family members - Yes

American RadioWorks |
A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

Recent Posts

  • 09.17.14

    A company short on skilled workers creates its own college-degree program

    At a Toyota plant in Kentucky, young people are learning how to fix robots, earning associate's degrees and graduating with jobs that pay up to $80,000 a year.
  • 09.11.14

    A 21st-century vocational high school

    For years, vocational education was seen as a lesser form of schooling, tracking some kids into programs that ended up limiting their future opportunities. Today, in the nation's best vocational programs, things are different.
  • 09.10.14

    Career academies: A new twist on vocational ed

    Across the country, thousands of high schools are transforming into career academies. The idea is that students will be more engaged if they see how academics are connected to the world of work. And they’ll be more likely to get the postsecondary schooling they need to support themselves in today’s economy.
  • 09.09.14

    The troubled history of vocational education

    Vocational education was once used to track low-income students off to work while wealthier kids went to college. But advocates for today's career and technical education say things have changed, and graduates of vocational programs may have the advantage over graduates of traditional high schools.