SNYDER SCORES: His Hand-On Education Focus Winning Support
Enrollment Soars at Clare-Gladwin Career Technical Center
Gov. Rick Snyder speaks on his career education plans at Franchino Mold and Engineering in Lansing.
Gov. Rick Snyder's passion for hands-on education is paying off in the mid-Michigan area.
"We are serious about leading the nation with new best practices in workforce development," Snyder said at last year's State of the State address, adding:
"The skills gap is a national challenge and the state that best addresses this need will stand apart in fostering new business growth, attracting new businesses and creating more and better jobs. The next step in creating a great environment for business growth is to develop the most skilled workforce in the nation."
"Talent is the new currency of economic growth," Snyder said. "We can create a river of opportunity improving talent capacities through better matches of our programs to the needs of industry and our workforce, those in it now and those who will move into these much-needed careers in the future."
At Gov. Snyder's 2013 Economic Summit, one of the most common issues raised was the lack of knowledge that high school students have about high-demand careers and training programs.
A new state initiative, the Career Liaison Jump Start program, focuses on educating students about shorter term credentials, Associate degree and apprenticeships that are in high-demand by employers.
The new state education thrust seems to have had almost immediate effect in one mid-Michigan area, Clare and Gladwin counties.
Enrollment in CTE (Career Technical Education) classes has increased by more than 100 students -- almost 30 percent, according to Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District Superintendent Sheryl Presler.
Voters in the two counties, which include five school districts, on May 3 approved a one-mill property tax for 10 years to fund CTE programming.
Presler said, "the passage of the millage meant we could follow through on our plans to offer Welding and Business Management immediately, and that accounts for some of the enrollment increase -- as we mentioned repeatedly during the information campaign, those were high-demand classes."
Presler said the information campaign apparently has helped drive student interest, as well as informing voters.
Presler said thousands of local students have graduated from high school better prepared for work and college thanks to CTE.
The jump in enrollment comes just in time to help offset Coleman's departure as a participating district. The Coleman district's students will participate in CTE programs in Midland County, driving down the number of Coleman students at Clare-Gladwin's CTE program from 21 to two. However, Farwell's student participation in CTE has risen from 35 to 95.
In addition to Welding and Business, the Clare-Gladwin CTE will offer Automotive Technology, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Digital Media, Health Occupations, Construction Trades and Education Occupations this fall. The millage will also allow the CTE center to offer students more opportunities in work placement and certification. Plans are also moving forward to develop Agri-Science and Manufacturing programs in the future.
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at email@example.com)
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