LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos is encouraging all Southwest Michigan residents to join him in recognizing the important contributions of career and technical education (CTE) to Michigan’s economy and the lives of thousands of students.
“February is Career and Technical Education Month, and it is a time celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of the many students pursuing rewarding careers through CTE and thank the instructors who are helping these students reach their goals,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Michigan’s economy is growing and creating jobs, yet thousands of positions remain unfilled because employers cannot find enough skilled workers. I have long supported applied learning education programs, because these rigorous areas of study can help us prepare all Michigan children for success and fill our current job skills gap.”
Michigan is home to more than 330 companies engaging in automotive research and development, and these businesses spend $11 billion annually on research and development.
“The auto industry continues to play a driving role in our economy, and manufacturing — like much of the global economy — is relying more and more on advanced technologies and skilled workers who know how to use that technology and who can adapt to new innovations,” Proos said. “CTE programs have become essential in ensuring that all Michigan students are given the opportunity to thrive, obtain a well-paying job and contribute to the economic success of our state and nation.”
Proos has supported legislation to allow students to meet certain graduation requirements by completing CTE courses and programs and to make it easier for professionals with expertise in certain fields to become effective classroom teachers. Proos was also successful in enacting Public Act 288 of 2014, which encourages schools to establish applied learning programs that award credit toward a college degree or an industry-recognized professional certificate.
“During Career and Technical Education Month, I urge all area families to express their appreciation for everyone involved in our CTE programs,” Proos said. “They are working hard to support our economy and ensure every student has the chance to achieve the American Dream.”
Proos also serves on the MiSTEM Advisory Council, which is dedicated to improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Michigan and promoting innovation and collaboration in STEM to best prepare students for careers in critical fields.