STEM job demand significant in Southwest Michigan

Proos recognizes National STEM Day

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, recently co-sponsored a Senate resolution celebrating National STEM Day and highlighting the bright future of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

“Although Michigan’s economy is growing and creating jobs, many positions remain unfilled,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “As a member of the governor’s MiSTEM Advisory Council, I know that STEM education can play a key role in addressing our skilled jobs gap by providing training and education in fields where positions exist. That is why I sponsored legislation to give students vital information for helping them plan their futures.”

Senate Bill 343 would require schools to provide students with the most recent available analysis of in-demand occupations for their local economic forecast region.

“STEM occupations have increased by 14 percent since 2008, while other non-STEM jobs grew by only 1.4 percent — and STEM careers are expected to continue to grow faster than those in other fields,” Proos said. “In Michigan, students with degrees in STEM have the highest employment rate after graduation, and those with STEM-related majors have an average income 31 percent higher than those with non-STEM degrees.”

The “Hot Jobs” outlooks for each of Michigan’s 10 prosperity regions are available at milmi.org/research/Regional-Hot-Jobs-for-2024. According to the Hot Jobs outlook for Southwest Michigan, the careers with the highest projected growth from 2014 to 2024 in the region are computer-controlled machine tool operators (26.4 percent), nurse practitioners (23.5 percent) and software developers (20.8 percent).

Proos has also introduced SB 344 to allow a student to receive a 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.

“STEM contributions are all around us and shape our lives every day,” Proos said. “National STEM Day and my bills are both about ensuring that we continue leading the world in innovation and that every student receives the education and information they need for success.”

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Editor’s note: To view Proos’ National STEM Day Senate floor speech, click on the image or visit www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Video.