The stock market crash of 1929, called Black Tuesday, precipitated the Great Depression of the 1930s. Millions of Americans were out of work.
Adults were desperate for new vocational skills to gain employment, so the population of students became older in daytime classes. Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls area programs were renamed Vocational, Technical and Adult Education.
By 1938, the Eau Claire school’s commercial department became its largest department, with high school graduates from 37 surrounding towns, according to the school’s “Vo-Clarion” yearbook.
Increasing needs for classroom space also led to the construction of Chippewa Falls’ first vocational school in 1937 at 2 W. Cedar. It housed an office, classrooms, machine tool shops, and a sewing room. Other classes continued in the old high school.