(LANSING, MI.–State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, recently voted for bipartisan legislation to enhance skilled trade education in Michigan’s public schools. “Employers across the state are calling for students with real-world abilities and experience,” LaFave said. “Our classrooms are the perfect place for students to explore possible careers while advancing their education. This legislation helps local school districts have more course flexibility, better access to experienced instructors and the ability to work closely with local business owners. That will ultimately help our state’s students, while giving them better access to post-high school programs and to help have more options as future professionals.” The legislation was developed from the recommendations of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance, which includes state K-12 educators and local employment leaders working together to help strengthen Michigan’s future. “Many Upper Peninsula high school students start their career development before they graduate,” LaFave said. “We’ve got to encourage students in the classroom while increasing their educational options because that will prepare them for a successful life. These bills will make the small changes in the classroom today to meet those career opportunities five years from now.”
- Creates 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;
- Provides continuing education and professional development credit for teachers who spend time 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; and
- Permits schools to more readily hire professional trade instructors to teach classes that align with their expertise.
House Bills 5139, 5140, 5141, 5142 and 5145 advance to the Senate for its consideration.