Career Counseling Improvement Championed by Senator Stabenow Passes out of Senate Education Committee

Key provision would help students pursue careers in manufacturing and the professional skilled trades

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An improvement championed by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to help school districts and community colleges hire more career counselors was passed today by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Earlier this year, Congress passed a spending bill that included $1.2 billion for career and technical education. Today’s provision, which is modeled on Stabenow’s bipartisan Careers Act, will allow school districts and community colleges to use some of this funding to recruit and retain career counselors who can put students on a path towards a rewarding career in manufacturing and the skilled trades as well as a four-year degree. 


“There are good paying jobs in the professional skilled trades where you can graduate with no debt,” said Senator Stabenow. “Unfortunately, too many students and parents aren’t aware of these opportunities. By increasing the number of career counselors who are not only focused on college preparation but also the skilled trades, we can make sure all young people have the opportunity and the skills they need to get a good-paying job.” 


School counselors play an important role in exposing students and parents to a full range of career and postsecondary options. Unfortunately, many communities across the country lack the resources to adequately staff schools with experienced counselors who can help students reach their full potential. Michigan has the third-worst student-to-counselor ratio in the country at 729 to 1. The recommended average is 250 to 1.


The provision championed by Stabenow to help connect students with career and job opportunities now heads to the Senate floor as part of the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. The Careers Act is part of the Senator’s New Skills for New Jobs agenda, which focuses on expanding career paths for every young person and filling the demand of Michigan businesses who are ready to hire.