Proos honored by Michigan Manufacturers Association

LANSING—Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, was recently honored by the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) as 2013 Advocate of the Year in recognition of his efforts to create a sustainable next-generation workforce by encouraging more schools to integrate career and technical education (CTE) programs that prepare students for jobs.

Proos received the award for his advocacy for providing Michigan’s next-generation workforce with the hands-on learning opportunities necessary for them to graduate ready to work.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by an organization that represents so many outstanding Michigan job providers,” Proos said. “Manufacturing is still Michigan’s largest industry and it is growing. To meet the demand for workers to fill these well-paying jobs, we need to ensure we have a talented workforce with career-ready skills. I sponsored Senate Bill 66 to ensure our schools are preparing every student for life and a successful career – including good careers in manufacturing already available here in Southwest Michigan.”

SB 66 would allow options for Michigan students to take more career and technical education (CTE) courses and count them toward meeting the state’s high school graduation requirements. Certain courses would need to be created as a partnership with a local business, trade organization, university or community college with completion being credited toward a professional certificate, training, apprenticeship or college credit.

“There are many Southwest Michigan companies looking for qualified individuals to fill jobs in manufacturing,” Proos said. “My goal is that every school in the region as well as across our state will work together with local businesses to give students the best chance to get a high-skill, high-wage and high-demand job.”

Corey Carolla, director of business and industry at Kinexus of Benton Harbor, said, “Manufacturing has become the vehicle of Michigan’s recovery. It is exciting to be a part of the collaboration between the private and public sectors as well as our education system to promote this vital industry.”