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

  • 09.11.14

    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.
  • 09.04.14

    Four-year institutions brace for population shifts

    Colleges and universities are accepting many more students of color, many more students from working class and poor families, and many more people who are sometimes referred to as "nontraditional" students.

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

  • 09.11.14

    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.
  • 09.04.14

    Four-year institutions brace for population shifts

    Colleges and universities are accepting many more students of color, many more students from working class and poor families, and many more people who are sometimes referred to as "nontraditional" students.

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ORTIZ, SOLOMON P, Democratic Party
Texas

Total number of trips - 18
Total cost of trips - $108,230.45

Average cost per trip - $6,012.80
Total number of days spent traveling - 156 days
Rank of representative - 31 (Out of 638)


Individual trips


Sponsor(s) - Asia Access Corporation
Dates - April 15, 2000 - April 28, 2000 (14 days)
Location(s) - China

Purpose - Fact-finding and to improve trade relations with China
Notes - Days at personal expense: 4/17, 4/18, 4/19, 4/27

Travel Cost - $4,268.00
Lodging Cost - $525.00
Meal Cost - $275.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $5,068.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Dates - January 19, 2000 - January 23, 2000 (5 days)
Location(s) - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Purpose - Board of Directors retreat
Notes - Other expenses for transportation in PR

Travel Cost - $496.40
Lodging Cost - $720.00
Meal Cost - $195.75
Other Cost - $216.94
Total Cost - $1,629.09

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce
Dates - May 29, 2000 - June 2, 2000 (5 days)
Location(s) - Taipei, Taiwan

Purpose - Fact-finding and education
Notes - Other expenses not specified

Travel Cost - $3,600.00
Lodging Cost - $900.00
Meal Cost - $300.00
Other Cost - $150.00
Total Cost - $4,950.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Singapore Technologies Engineering, Dai Nisshin Corp
Dates - January 28, 2001 - February 4, 2001 (8 days)
Location(s) - Japan - Singapore

Purpose - Fact finding with the city government of Corpus Christi & the port of Corpus Christi as it relates to investment opportunities in Texas
Notes -

Travel Cost - $6,297.00
Lodging Cost - $860.00
Meal Cost - $275.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $7,432.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce
Dates - May 26, 2001 - June 2, 2001 (8 days)
Location(s) - Taiwan

Purpose - Fact finding
Notes - Other expenses not specified

Travel Cost - $3,835.00
Lodging Cost - $700.00
Meal Cost - $330.00
Other Cost - $185.00
Total Cost - $5,050.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - International Management and Development Institute
Dates - March 26, 2002 - March 29, 2002 (4 days)
Location(s) - Hong Kong - Singapore

Purpose - fact-finding
Notes -

Travel Cost - $6,747.00
Lodging Cost - $750.00
Meal Cost - $400.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $7,897.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Singapore Technologies Engineering, Dai Nisshin Corp
Dates - January 15, 2002 - January 20, 2002 (6 days)
Location(s) - Singapore - Hong Kong - Shanghai, China

Purpose - fact-finding trip to secure jobs for the 27th district of Texas
Notes -

Travel Cost - $6,245.70
Lodging Cost - $720.00
Meal Cost - $500.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $7,465.70

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Sony Music/Sony Electronics, Altria, Time Warner, Pfizer, Coca-Cola, Fannie Mae, AstraZeneca, Aventis, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, PhRMA, Puerto Rico Telephone
Dates - October 23, 2003 - October 26, 2003 (4 days)
Location(s) - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Purpose - "Tri-Caucus Retreat" to improve relationships between member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; the Cong. Black Caucus and the Cong/ Asian Pacific American Caucus
Notes - Son, Solomon P. Ortiz, Jr.

Travel Cost - $3,696.24
Lodging Cost - $1,139.40
Meal Cost - $901.02
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $5,736.66

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Asia Access Corporation
Dates - August 2, 2003 - August 19, 2003 (18 days)
Location(s) - Hong Kong - Dong Guan City, China - Guangzhou, China - Shanghai, China - Shenyang City, China - Beijing, China

Purpose - fact-finding and a trade mission
Notes - 8/11 - 8/18 at own personal expense.

Travel Cost - $7,500.00
Lodging Cost - $1,050.00
Meal Cost - $525.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $9,075.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association
Dates - January 10, 2003 - January 18, 2003 (9 days)
Location(s) - Tokyo, Japan - Taipei, Taiwan

Purpose - fact-finding
Notes - Son, Solomon P. Ortiz, Jr.

Travel Cost - $6,346.00
Lodging Cost - $3,700.00
Meal Cost - $1,300.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $11,346.00

Additional family members - Yes


Sponsor(s) - Marathon Oil Corp.
Dates - July 26, 2003 - July 28, 2003 (3 days)
Location(s) - Mexico City, Mexico

Purpose - To give briefing on Marathon Oil project to the US Embassy - met with U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza and other Mexican officials
Notes -

Travel Cost - $2,376.00
Lodging Cost - $400.00
Meal Cost - $150.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $2,926.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia
Dates - February 13, 2004 - February 23, 2004 (11 days)
Location(s) - Hong Kong - Beijing, China

Purpose - trade mission
Notes - [Personal financial disclosure statement indicates sponsor is Integrity Communications]

Travel Cost - $3,900.00
Lodging Cost - $700.00
Meal Cost - $700.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $5,300.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Asia Access Corporation
Dates - April 7, 2004 - April 17, 2004 (11 days)
Location(s) - Taipei, Taiwan - Hong Kong, China - Beijing, China

Purpose - fact-finding
Notes -

Travel Cost - $3,500.00
Lodging Cost - $700.00
Meal Cost - $500.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $4,700.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Dominican Association of Free Zone Industries
Dates - April 23, 2004 - April 26, 2004 (4 days)
Location(s) - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Purpose - fact-finding in relation to free trade with the USA
Notes -

Travel Cost - $1,500.00
Lodging Cost - $500.00
Meal Cost - $260.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $2,260.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Chinese Intl Economic Cooperation Assn
Dates - November 4, 2004 - November 11, 2004 (8 days)
Location(s) - Taipei, Taiwan - Kao-hsiung, Taiwan

Purpose - Fact-finding trip/meeting with high government officials
Notes - Corpus Christi - LA - Taipei, Taiwan - Kaohsiung - Taipei -LA - Corpus Christi

Travel Cost - $5,500.00
Lodging Cost - $1,050.00
Meal Cost - $700.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $7,250.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Asia Access
Dates - March 21, 2005 - April 1, 2005 (12 days)
Location(s) - Beijing, China - Guangzhou, China

Purpose - Fact-finding..
Notes - Corpus Christi, TX - Beijing / Beijing - Guangzhou / Guangzhou - Corpus Christi, TX Personal Expense : 3/30 - 3/31

Travel Cost - $3,695.00
Lodging Cost - $700.00
Meal Cost - $350.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $4,745.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Integrity Communications
Dates - July 29, 2004 - August 9, 2004 (12 days)
Location(s) - Beijing, China - Hong Kong, China

Purpose - Fact finding
Notes - Corpus Christi - Hong Kong - Beijing - Hong Kong - Corpus Christi Personal expense: 8/6 - 8/7

Travel Cost - $3,200.00
Lodging Cost - $600.00
Meal Cost - $500.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $4,300.00

Additional family members - No


Sponsor(s) - Law Offices of Filemon Vela
Dates - August 1, 2005 - August 14, 2005 (14 days)
Location(s) - Singapore - Beijing, China - Hong Kong

Purpose - Fact finding
Notes - Corpus Christi, TX - Singapore - Beijing - Hong Kong - Corpus Christi Personal expense: 8/10, 8/12, 8/13/05 (4 travel days)

Travel Cost - $9,000.00
Lodging Cost - $1,400.00
Meal Cost - $700.00
Other Cost -
Total Cost - $11,100.00

Additional family members - No

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

  • 09.11.14

    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.
  • 09.04.14

    Four-year institutions brace for population shifts

    Colleges and universities are accepting many more students of color, many more students from working class and poor families, and many more people who are sometimes referred to as "nontraditional" students.