“The skilled trades are a great pathway to meaningful, rewarding careers with room for advancement,” said Stephanie Comai, director of the Michigan Talent Investment Agency. “As the demand for people with technical skills continues to surge, we want students of all ages to be aware of their career options. We’re excited about this campaign and will continue to enhance it with additional resources so that students, parents and educators have the information they need regarding opportunities available in today’s skilled trades.”
Meanwhile, under the umbrella of the Michigan Department of Education, the Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTE) is working at the county level to promote the return on investment students get from skilled trades careers.
The local OCTE programs are tailored to match that region’s needs, employer participation and available resources. The local directors assigned to the programs are in charge of promoting these opportunities to students, as well as parents.
Aside from the local directors, the Michigan School Counselor Association (MSCA), local school counselors and teachers play an important part in extending students opportunities to talk with employers and begin instructional programs at the high school or local career technical area center. The OCTE is also supporting the MSCA’s fall conference by providing breakout sessions to discuss career and college readiness opportunities.
The OCTE also honors young women who get involved in skilled trades programs as many of these career paths tend to be male dominated fields. Local programs are also recognized for instituting innovative programming that promotes skilled trades as profitable and fulfilling career choices.
Kami Moore, a senior at Reeths-Puffer High School is interested in Machining and Engineering. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Department of Education.
Michigan cannot truly be competitive in today’s global economy without the support of people in skilled trades careers. If you’re a parent of a child thinking about entering the skilled trades, or a student who is interested in learning more, we encourage you to look at your school’s course catalog for OCTE programming and talk to your counselor or teachers.