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Governor Whitmer Signs Bill Supporting Michigan Students

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To keep up with a fluctuating job market in Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a law benefiting high schoolers.

Public Act 88 was sponsored by Representative David Martin (R-Mich.)

It requires Michigan schools to provide students with information about options in vocational training, military service and post-secondary education opportunities. It will detail costs and the job market associated with each option.

The information will be compiled by the Michigan Department of Education and sent to high schools for distribution.

While the plan was to get information starting in August 2022, Martin said due to a delay with paperwork, students will start receiving information in August 2023.

According to Martin, most students don’t know exactly when to start looking for career opportunities and often start as graduation approaches.

“If you don't know what you should be doing, and you don’t find out about it until six months before you're graduating high school, you're going to be behind the eight ball,” Martin said. “We want people to be seamless, so they’re not unemployed at any time. They're going to be employed in a field that not only they like but provides wages for them to succeed and have a career.”

The bill is also expected to help supplement Michigan’s workforce as a generation of skilled trade workers enter retirement.

“The whole problem right now is our baby boomers are aging out,” Martin said. “So, we're going to have a population decrease to an extent. And we want to make sure that we are attracting people to Michigan and the automotive industry has always been a backbone here.”

Martin said as the automotive industry progresses to autonomous and electric options, this bill will help Michigan keep pace with the changes.

Sean Chase is from Newaygo, Michigan. He is a senior at Central Michigan University pursuing a journalism degree.