Job-ready kids through CTE

LANSING— Sen. John Proos’ legislation to encourage more schools to offer career and technical education (CTE) courses and enable students to count them toward meeting the state’s high school graduation requirements is one step closer to becoming law.

The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 66 in May and the House Education Committee approved the bill on Wednesday. It now awaits a passage by the full House.

“We all support a rigorous education that prepares our children for success, but education is not a one-size-fits-all business,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “This initiative is about encouraging schools to work with their communities to offer high school credit for more flexible, career-based programs. As a result we can give our students flexibility to get an education that meets their needs while also ensuring they meet the requirements to graduate from high school.”

Gov. Rick Snyder recently repeated his call for an increased focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Michigan schools — objectives addressed in Proos’ legislation. 

“My legislative colleagues, as well as the governor, understand the importance of applied learning in preparing future generations for success and meeting the skilled workforce needs of a growing economy,” Proos said. “There are thousands of job opportunities currently available throughout the state, including many in Southwest Michigan, yet they remain unfilled because employers cannot find enough workers with the necessary skills to fill the positions.”

SB 66 urges more schools to offer CTE programs in partnership with a local business, labor group or post-secondary institution and strongly encourages that the programs award credit toward a college degree or an industry-recognized certificate.

“Increasing coordination between skilled trades and technical fields and our schools can help give students a leg up on getting into college or getting a well-paying job in areas like manufacturing and agri-business,” Proos said. “My bill is aimed at helping us fulfill three key goals: Educating our children, preparing them for success and meeting the skilled-labor needs of current and future Michigan employers.”

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Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.