Laura Hofer, 31, inspects a piece of lighting equipment during the on-set film production class at Gwinnett Technical College. The class is part of the Georgia Film Academy Certificate Program that will prepare students for on-set jobs in the film industry. TAYLOR CARPENTER / TAYLOR.CARPENTER@AJC.COM

Poll: Georgians overwhelmingly support tuition-free technical training

Three out of four Georgians would support tuition-free post-secondary technical training, according to a poll released Monday.

The statewide poll, by the Mason-Dixon firm, was commissioned by the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute. 

Georgia currently offers free tuition through the HOPE Career Grant program to students pursuing certificates or diplomas in 17 “high demand” fields of study. The areas include aviation maintenance, commercial truck driving, computer science, movie set production and welding.

Some states have explored or implemented programs that offer free tuition for all community college or technical educations.

The poll also found 82 percent of Georgians support a need-based financial aid program to make college more affordable for low-income students. State lawmakers passed a similar measure during the recent legislative session, but it has not been funded. The institute has pushed for needs-based aid.

The poll was conducted between July 9-11, interviewing 625 registered voters. Respondents who described themselves as Democrats were more supportive of the questions.

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