Southwest Michigan students dive into welding with Proos

LANSING— Sen. John Proos welcomed students of the Lakeshore Vocational Welding Program, which includes students from all corners of Berrien County, to the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday.

Students from St. Joseph, Lakeshore and Berrien Springs high schools were at the Capitol to present at the Michigan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs Lansing Showcase Day. 

“The program includes students from throughout Berrien County and represents what our students and teachers can achieve through creativity, collaboration and hard work,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “As a strong supporter of career and technical education programs, I was proud to welcome these outstanding students and their instructors to the Capitol. Their unique work, such as underwater welding, illustrates what our kids can do in innovative CTE courses.”

Proos noted that students in the program learn underwater diving and wrote essays about the reasons they wanted to visit the state Capitol in order to participate in Wednesday’s showcase.

The Lakeshore Vocational Welding Program enjoys a 100 percent employment-placement rate and gives students the opportunity to earn 28 college credits.

“This program has given me the opportunity to be hands-on,” said Jeff Rupple, a Berrien Springs student enrolled in the Lakeshore shared-time program. “The welding skills I am learning will help me both at home and in my future career in diesel technology and agriculture.”

Proos introduced Senate Bill 66 in January to allow students and schools the flexibility to establish career and technical education programs.


A photograph of Proos, students and instructors is available by visiting the senator’s webpage at Click on “Photowire.”