2014-06-05 / News

MMA praises legislature for education bills

Focus turns to career and technical education

LANSING – The Michigan Manufacturers Association recently applauded steps taken by the Senate on top priority legislation that will improve opportunities for students to build skills and explore advanced manufacturing career options through career and technical education classes.

House Bill 4465 (Representative Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan), House Bill 4466 (Representative Joel Johnson, R-Clare) and Senate Bill 66 (Senator John Proos, R-St. Joseph) improve the flexibility of the Michigan Merit Curriculum and offer new methods for businesses and educators to work together to strengthen Michigan’s K-12 talent pipeline.

4466 and SB 66 were discharged to the Senate Floor, allowing for swift passage of this critical legislation in the coming days.

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of key legislators who have brought the stakeholders to the table and kept this legislation a priority,” said Delaney McKinley, MMA director of human resource policy. “For the future of our state, it is critical to produce a pipeline of skilled workers that will continue to drive Michigan’s manufacturingdriven economic recovery.”

Passage of meaningful changes to the Michigan Merit Curriculum is a top priority for Michigan manufacturers and final language must be guided by solid principles:

Flexibility: Michigan must be innovative with learning methods and open the door for more experiential, hands-on and projectbased learning. This requires more flexibility in curriculum requirements and in scheduling.

Partnerships: CTE programs are most relevant when they are aligned with private sector practices. School districts should work together with local employers to ensure that students are building the skills that are in demand in today’s workforce.

Aid to districts: School districts should be armed with tools necessary to develop strong CTE programs that incorporate rigorous standards.

Manufacturing CTE: Careers in advanced manufacturing are heavily reliant on strong math and science skills so manufacturing CTE programs incorporate substantial math and science content. The Michigan Merit Curriculum should recognize achievement of required content through manufacturing CTE programs.

From December 2009 to December 2013, Michigan’s manufacturing sector created more than 105,500 new jobs; more than 50 percent higher than any other state in the nation. This trend is expected to continue due to production increases in the manufacturing industry and the aging of the current workforce.

“We look forward to progress on this legislation that will help more students achieve a high school diploma that is relevant to 21st century careers,” said McKinley.

For more information, contact Elyse Kopietz, at (800) 253-9039 ext. 553 or (517) 487-8553.

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