Fourteen school districts in Michigan have received state grant funding to advance an existing or start a new career and technical education program. These are the programs that give vocational training to students.
The grant committee said they were looking for programs which had partnerships with local businesses and programs which could also train adults and high school students.
School districts in Alpena, Clare, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, and Saginaw counties received grants totaling nearly $2-million.
Lisa Siegel is a Michigan Department of Education CTE Specialist. She said the grants are part of a larger statewide plan.
“Part of the governor's initiative with the talent and economic development department and this is one of the initiatives that they had in there. Which is to create a talent pipeline so we could get folks, students trained and adults trained to enter the workforce”.
Siegel said programs that are growing right now include welding, advanced manufacturing, and precision machining.
Sheryl Presler is the Clare Gladwin R.E.S.D. superintendent. She said there are not enough technically skilled workers in the state to fill the positions as the manufacturing industry evolves.
“We hear frequently from our local manufactures that they are looking for employees not only for manufacturing skills but also welders. So, we have had a concerted effort to recruit high school students”.
Presler said students who use the skills they learned in the program and fill positions locally will help businesses grow and boost the economy.