Little visits high school to promote Idaho Launch program

Local high school students studying a range of technical career subjects listened to Gov. Brad Little discuss his proposal to help fund the cost of attending college or a workforce training program.

If enacted by lawmakers, Idaho Launch would give 2024 graduating high school seniors $8,500 to attend an in-state university, community college, career technical or workforce training program of their choice. 

The governor is encouraging young people to pursue in-demand careers with his Idaho Launch program. (Darren Svan/Idaho Education News)

“You’ll be able to get the next level of training, where you’ll be able to command a much higher salary,” Little told the group Thursday.

The governor visited Swan Falls High School’s expansive 13,000-square-foot automotive repair lab and 5,000 square-foot construction lab, where he fielded questions from young people preparing to study in-demand careers like nursing, construction trades and diesel technology.

Senior Brogan Shaw asked the governor about his hope for students and the future.

Little said he hopes the program will help students follow their destiny and get into a career field that they like.

Shaw said, “That’s a good thing that he mentioned, because my father owns a roofing company. I hope that it’ll push more people into the construction trade and it’ll open up their opportunities.”

Gov. Brad Little discussed his grant program with Swan Falls High School students. (Darren Svan/Idaho Education News)

About 150 students listened to the governor speak. The high school, which is part of the Kuna School District, has 170 students enrolled in construction trades, 300 in auto and diesel mechanics and 190 health sciences.

Construction lab equipment.

You know, you want to work with your hands to make things better. And that’s the beauty of these high school programs. You’ll be able to take your certificate you get from here, go on to one of these other programs, and basically command a much better career,” Little said.

Representatives from Idaho industries reinforced the governor’s message, encouraging students to consider construction opportunities and explaining the evolution of diesel mechanics that now requires technical skills for computer diagnostics.

“So pay good attention here. Get a good education,” Little told the students. “If we’re successful, there’ll be $8,500 available for you to go on to any advanced opportunity, in any in-demand career.”

The governor’s legislation has passed the House and still needs to pass the Senate. The Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee hasn’t yet held a hearing.

Paige Hobbs, Rylee Peters and Tianna Dirks are planning to pursue careers in medicine or health sciences after graduation. (Darren Svan/Idaho Education News)
Darren Svan

Darren Svan

Reporter Darren Svan has a background in both journalism and education. Prior to working for military schools at overseas installations, he was news editor at several publications in Wyoming and Colorado. You can send news tips to [email protected].

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