As Michigan students continue to lack information about the exciting opportunities available in manufacturing and many communities lack programs to provide the much-needed skills, every effort is needed to change the conversation and spotlight skilled trades careers.
One new initiative — Michigan Career Pathways Alliance — is a comprehensive series of actions and recommendations unveiled by Governor Rick Snyder during a June press conference at Brose North America, an Auburn Hills-based manufacturer and MMA member company.
“We all have an important role in making sure every student has the opportunity to explore multiple pathways to find a career that matches their interests and goals,” said Governor Snyder. “We are bringing together economic developers, employers and educators, as well as K-12 districts and higher education institutions with union leaders and businesses.”
The Michigan Career Pathways Recommendations include ways to:
- Promote student success
- Embed Michigan Merit Curriculum flexibility
- Increase professional trades instructors
- Support career development
- Develop practical professional trades experiences for students and educators
- Promote career pathways
“We need to change the perceptions of the professional trades so students, parents and others know about the outstanding opportunities that are out there as Michigan businesses grow and thrive — but that’s only part of the job,” said Roger Curtis, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development. “Once we’ve shattered stereotypes, we need to have a stronger system in place for students to determine the best pathway for them, then have access to the rigorous training to get them to the job they want — no matter where they live.”
The Career Pathways Alliance joins multiple efforts across Michigan to increase the recruitment, training and retention of talent in industries like manufacturing. Other programs include MMA’s PRIME initiative partnership with the SME Education Foundation and the Manufacturing Institute and an application by the Michigan Department of Education for the U.S. Department of Education’s High School Career and Technical Education Teacher Pathway Initiative Grant (see MMA’s letter of support here).
“Manufacturers and local communities throughout Michigan are working together to provide future talent the chance to make informed decisions about their career paths and have viable routes to achieving the skills to excel in those careers,” said Chuck Hadden, MMA president & CEO. “MMA applauds the effort of Governor Snyder and his Administration for shining a spotlight on this critical need through the Career Pathways Alliance Recommendations.”