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Posted on 10.27.2017 Under Legislative, Recent Post

Where will Amazon plop its next headquarters?  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Jeff Mason, CEO of MEDC, thinks Michigan will be a serious contender because of talent and mass transit, even though Michigan does not have traditional mass transit.  “I like our chances” stated Jeff Mason.  The CEO doles out big tax breaks to attract more jobs to Michigan. Mason commented that Michigan is growing jobs and hunting for jobs.  Big contenders for the Amazon headquarters appear to be Austin, Texas, Toronto, Boston and Pittsburgh.  We will see…..

This week the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee heard testimony on legislation to boost career and technical education and skilled trades training in Michigan schools.  Key to the package is a bill to allow alternative requirements for teachers in career and skilled trades classes.  The bill would allow someone to teach such a class without a teaching certificate as long as they have a professional license or certification in the subject matter of the class.  Another bill would eliminate a requirement for the state to deduct from school aid funding for any class taught by a non-certified teacher.

Testimony included statistics that 68 % of Michigan’s high school students head off to college after graduation, the remaining 32 % of students need training.  But a large part of the problem with offering such classes is finding the teachers needed for skilled trades classes.  That there are many good skilled trades and technical jobs available now in Michigan, but many are going unfilled because of  a “talent gap”, which is only expected to grow in coming years.   One committee democrat expressed concern that there is more to teaching than knowing the skills or subject matter of the course.  That part of teaching is classroom management and knowing how to assess whether students are learning what they are being taught.

The Senate was in session on Tuesday for three minutes and recessed for a sports-men’s conference in northern lower Michigan, very few Senate committees met on Tuesday.  The House met on its traditional three session days.  I attended only one fundraiser this week for Rep. John Chirkun, D-Roseville.  Rep. Chirkun is the Democratic VC of the House Transportation Committee and supports our transportation issues.  Next week will be very busy with committee meetings and fundraiser events as the Legislature will work to finish up their fall agenda of work before they recess for the deer hunting season and Thanksgiving on November 9.

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The Michigan Association are looking forward to another eventful and educational Annual Meeting. Please join us at Boyne Mountain Lodge on April 26th and 27th, 2018!

Click on "About" then "Annual Timbermen Convention" for more details!

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