State Rep. Bronna Kahle today introduced legislation to help expand professional trade instruction in Michigan high schools, helping provide more career-oriented opportunities for students.
“Many good paying jobs across Michigan and Lenawee County remain unfilled. There are not enough skilled workers to fill vacancies and that skills gap is expected to grow,” said Kahle, of Adrian. “There are bright career opportunities in the professional and skilled trades and our young people need to know these options and have the opportunity to train in these fields.”
Specifically, Kahle’s legislation will permit schools to hire professional trade instructors to teach classes that align with their expertise and in which they hold a license or certificate.
The 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. The legislation was announced during a news conference today in the state Capitol with Director Roger Curtis from the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development and Michigan Manufacturers Association joining Kahle in voicing their support.
“The future is bright for professional trades and for our creative, young people with an interest in those fields. The focus of these bills is providing students with pathways to careers that match their interests and goals,” said Kahle. “In order to help give these students more real-world education, there is a need for more qualified, experienced instructors.”
The legislative package also:
- Creates a K-12 model program to delivers career learning and themes for each grade level, while focusing on engaging with parents, community businesses and industry interests.
- Provides credit toward teachers’ continuing education and professional development for time spent engaging with local employers and professional trade centers.
- Allows 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.