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Rep. Vaupel supports bills to expand and strengthen Michigan’s skilled trade opportunities

State Rep. Hank Vaupel, of Fowlerville, recently voted for a bipartisan five-bill package to enhance skilled trade education in Michigan’s public schools.

“This is an opportunity to help our children beyond high school while they’re still in the classroom,” Vaupel said. “Our mid-Michigan school districts will have more course flexibility, improved access to experienced instructors and be able to work closely with local business owners. That will ultimately help our state’s students, while giving them better access to post-high school programs and help have more options as future professionals.”

The legislation was developed from the recommendations of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance, which includes state K-12 educators and local employment leaders working together to help strengthen Michigan’s future.

The legislation:

  • Creates a K-12 model program that emphasizes career learning and themes for each grade level, while focusing on engaging with parents, community businesses and industry interests;
  • Provides continuing education and professional development credit for teachers who spend time engaging with local employers and professional trade centers;
  • Allows proprietary schools, community colleges and skilled trade employers access – with parental consent – to high school pupil directory information for the purposes of recruitment and career opportunities; and
  • Permits schools to more readily hire professional trade instructors to teach classes that align with their expertise.

“We’ve got to develop students in the classroom while increasing their educational opportunities because that will prepare them for a successful life,” Vaupel said. “Michigan has many more career opportunities today than it did five years ago. If this legislation becomes state law then our students will be better prepared for five years from now.”

House Bills 5139, 5140, 5141, 5142 and 5145 advance to the Senate for its consideration.

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