The House today approved legislation sponsored by state Rep. Bronna Kahle to expand professional trade instruction and provide career-oriented development in Michigan high schools.
“Our state has many good-paying jobs and bright career opportunities in skilled trades right now, but we need experienced instructors to help bring that real world teaching to the classroom,” said Kahle. “The professional trades offer quality, high-paying jobs. Young people need to know about these options and have the opportunity to train in these fields if they have an interest in those areas.”
Kahle’s bill is part of a five-bill package developed from the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance, which includes state K-12 education and employment leaders working together to help strengthen Michigan’s future. Her legislation will permit schools to hire professional trade instructors to teach classes that align with their expertise in which they hold a license or certificate.
Mark Haag, superintendent of the Lenawee Intermediate School District; Dan Garno, executive director of Staff Resources at the Lenawee ISD; and Dan Rogers, director of Center for Science and Industry in Hudson all joined Kahle in testifying in support of the legislative package in late October.
In addition, the skilled trade legislative package will:
- Create a K-12 model program that emphasizes career learning and themes for each grade level, while focusing on engaging with parents, community businesses and industry interests;
- Provide continuing education and professional development credit for teachers who spend time engaging with local employers and professional trade centers;
- Allow proprietary schools, community colleges and skilled trade employers access – with parental consent – to high school pupil directory information for the purposes of recruitment and career opportunities.
“There is a talent gap across the state. We’re fortunate in Lenawee County to have dedicated local districts and employers working together to prepare our students for careers,” said Kahle, of Adrian. “This legislation will help across the state, addressing the current demand and expected future needs for talented professionals into skilled fields.”
The legislative package advances to the Senate for its consideration.