Committee approves Proos’ STEM, in-demand jobs bills

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Education Committee on Tuesday approved Sen. John Proos’ legislation to give Michigan students a leg up on earning a job in a high-skilled career.

“We are facing a serious gap in the number of skilled Michigan workers available to fill in-demand jobs in our state,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “A key factor in this gap is a lack of focus on training and education in fields where jobs currently exist and are being created. This legislation is about taking the next step in Michigan to provide our students with the information they need to choose their own path to success.”

Senate Bill 343 would require school districts and public school academies to provide students with the most recent available analysis of in-demand occupations for the economic forecast region in which the school or public school academy is located.

Residents can see the current “Hot Jobs” outlook for Southwest Michigan by clicking here. The careers with the highest projected growth from 2014 to 2024 in the region are market research analysts and marketing specialists (27.1 percent growth), personal financial advisors (23.7 percent) and industrial machinery mechanics (23.2 percent).

“Information about in-demand jobs and growing careers would be a tremendous resource for students contemplating their future,” Proos said. “As we try to meet the workforce needs of a growing economy, this bill would ensure that every Michigan high school student receives this information for their area. It’s about helping all our students make the best decisions they can about their education and their career.”

SB 344 would allow a student to receive a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) certification as an incentive for taking additional STEM courses. If the bill is enacted, Michigan would be the first state to allow such a STEM certification opportunity.

“I am proud that Michigan is a leader in empowering students to focus their education on STEM fields and take extra STEM classes,” Proos said. “This certification would be a change to reward students who take additional courses and to highlight their accomplishments. It also could help give students a competitive advantage in landing a well-paying job in these robust areas.”

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.