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SBAM praises Gov. Snyder’s proposed funding for career and technical education, skilled trades

February 12, 2015

Gov. Snyder’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget recommendation includes new investments of nearly $36 million dollars for enhanced educational opportunities, college and career planning, and skilled trades training. Combined with existing programs, next year’s budget proposes more than $83 million for career and technology education and skilled trades initiatives.

“The governor’s budget proposal regarding skilled trades represents the first step in a much needed cultural shift toward re-emphasizing skilled trades and vocational training,” says SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler. “Michigan has thousands of stable, good-paying skilled trades employment opportunities in the small business sector that are going unfilled because small businesses can’t find trained workers. We welcome efforts that will give Michigan students the skills necessary to continue to grow our talented workforce and economy.”

The governor said the goals for career and technical education and skilled trades are:

1) Increase Opportunities for Students to Pursue Career Choices

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) early/middle college initiative is a five-year high school program that will offer students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and either an associate degree, technical certification, transferable college credits or participation in a registered apprenticeship.

2) Improve Access to Planning Tools and Information about Career Planning

Increased funding to the Michigan College Access Network will be used to hire more recently-graduated college advisors to assist high school counselors. A proposed pilot statewide awareness campaign will help increase information about career and technical education and opportunities to earn college credit in advance of high school graduation.

Encourage community colleges to actively participate in the Michigan Transfer Wizard, a website that allows students to see how classes at each institution will transfer to another institution.

3) Provide Opportunities to Improve Existing Skills and Learn New In-Demand Skills

Double funding for the Skilled Trades Training Fund to enable employers to design training for potential employees.

The MAT2 initiative calls for advanced technical training in systems-based manufacturing and information technologies.

Enhanced re-employment opportunities will focus on expanded apprenticeship opportunities for workers at high risk of exhausting unemployment benefits.

Support is provided for the retooling of credentials received by new Americans in their country of origin, so they can more easily transition to employment with Michigan businesses.

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