LANSING, Mich. — The governor this summer signed legislation cosponsored by Sen. John Proos to fund skilled trades training for Michigan residents.
“We have worked hard to create a positive environment for economic growth and job creation in Michigan, which has resulted in over 500,000 new private sector jobs and a more than 70 percent cut in unemployment,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Michigan’s unemployment rate is the lowest in nearly 18 years, yet thousands of jobs throughout the state and in Southwest Michigan remain unfilled because employers cannot find enough skilled workers.
“I cosponsored the Going Pro Talent Program because it can ensure our workers are ready for successful careers and that job providers will have access to the highly skilled workforce they need to continue Michigan’s comeback.”
Senate Bill 946, now Public Act 260 of 2018, permanently puts the Going Pro Talent Program into state law. The program helps job providers train Michigan workers in an effort to meet demands for talent, enhances productivity and employee retention, and increase the state’s competitiveness for new investment.
“With the recent passage of Public Act 260, Michigan businesses have assurance that critical funding will be available through the Going Pro Talent Fund to provide their workforce the training they need to compete and grow,” said Jeff Hannan, director of business solutions at Kinexus. “During the recent fiscal year, Kinexus assisted 37 companies in receiving $1.3 million in awards of one-time training dollars to train 1,095 individuals. This permanent grant allows employers the additional workforce support to continue reducing the cost of new hire training and the up-skilling of existing staff.”
Since 2014, the program has provided $72.9 million in competitive awards to over 2,000 Michigan companies for training and apprenticeships.
“This legislation builds on my efforts to promote career and technical education, training and opportunities throughout my time in the Legislature,” Proos said. “I have always been a strong supporter of applied learning because it can help prepare all Michigan children for success and also help us meet the workforce needs of a growing economy.”
Proos is a member of the governor’s MiSTEM Advisory Council to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Michigan. He sponsored PA 288 of 2014 to connect unfilled jobs with classroom instruction and training. It allows for the sharing of information between schools and businesses with employee needs and provides students and their parents with information on available career and technical education opportunities.
Proos also sponsored PAs 241 and 242 of 2018, which allow Michigan students to receive a STEM certification on their diploma and require schools to provide students with the most recent analysis of in-demand occupations in the school’s region. Michigan is the first state to allow this STEM certification opportunity.
“These initiatives will give students more tools to make informed decisions about their future and give them a competitive advantage in landing a well-paying job,” Proos said.
Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.