Schools and manufacturers trying to attract people to skilled trades

Governor Snyder is giving nearly $50 million to community colleges across Michigan to bring training equipment up to date.

One out of every eight jobs available in Michigan is a manufacturing job. These jobs have a high demand for skilled workers, which is something Michigan is beginning to fall short on.

With the majority of the workforce that keeps Michiganâ??s factories running retiring soon, the question still remains, what happens next?

Educators at the Wexford-Missaukee Career Technical Center are working to get those jobs filled.

â??Thereâ??s a need for these folks to keep the factories running, do the things that they need to do, to produce in America,â?? said Schwarz.

â??If these people are not producing, Michigan is going nowhereâ?¦this is the state thatâ??s always valued its manufacturing base,â?? said Schwarz. â??It has really been the heart of Michigan for so long that without that base it doesnâ??t matter, he canâ??t attract businesses if we donâ??t have any.â??

Schwarz says the demand for these jobs are so high that not being able to fill them could lead to work going overseas and that is why recruiting students has to be a priority.

â??I donâ??t think kids understand the amount of money they can make and the number of jobs that are out there,â?? he said.

To push that idea forward even further theyâ??ve partnered with Baker College and created a program where students can earn an Associateâ??s Degree just by staying in high school an extra year.

â??The early college program is a tuition free program, all of the tuition and fees and books are covered by the early college,â?? said Early College Coordinator, Meghan Howell. â??Itâ??s a great opportunity for our students and that financial barrier is a big one and if we can take care of that it just really means a lot.â??

School officials said students today can sometimes see working in a factory as something undesirable, which could be contributed to a generation gap. They say the program serves as a great way for students to get a taste of what college is like while still in high school.

Governor Snyder is also paying more attention to skilled trades. Next month, He will be giving nearly $50 million to community colleges across Michigan to help bring training equipment up to date.

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