Senator Stabenow Continues Statewide Series of Workforce Discussions in Flint

Stabenow Meets with Local Business and Labor Leaders, Educators, and Parents at Mott Community College’s Regional Technology Center in Flint

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today continued her week-long series of workforce discussions across Michigan at Mott Community College’s Regional Technology Center in Flint. The discussion focused on how to better fill the demand for skilled workers in Michigan and provide professional career and training opportunities for students who don’t choose a four-year college path after high school or workers who want to be retrained for new jobs. Stabenow met with local business and labor leaders, Mott Community College, Genesee Intermediate School District, and local parents.

Senator Stabenow frequently meets with business owners who express a critical need for more skilled workers, labor leaders who offer opportunities for training and apprenticeships for good paying jobs in the skilled trades, parents frustrated with the lack of opportunities for their children who are not college bound, and educators who are innovating to meet these needs. She is bringing these leaders together in communities across the state to discuss how we can partner to meet the needs of employers and provide job opportunities for all Michigan workers and students.


“I’ve visited over 110 small businesses in the past year and the number one issue I hear about is the need for more skilled workers,” said Senator Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus. “Not every young person is interested in getting a four-year college degree. It’s important that they know there are great jobs in professional skilled trades and technical careers. To grow our economy for businesses and workers, we all need to work together to raise public awareness of these great job opportunities across Michigan.”


“Senator Stabenow is a true champion of Michigan’s community colleges,” said Mott Community College President, Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea. “Her commitment and continuing support of our job training programs and partnerships with local businesses are helping to strengthen our community and our state.”

“For several years now, my firm has had difficulty finding qualified, skilled workers to fill the openings created with our company’s growth,” said Thomas L. Self, CEO of Premier Tooling Systems in Grand Blanc. “Senator Stabenow has demonstrated her commitment to small and medium businesses in Michigan by bringing together educational resources and business in an effort to increase awareness and to find solutions to this issue.


“As educators, we must make sure we are preparing our students for every opportunity after they graduate high school,” Denise Belt, Executive Director Career & Technical Education Genesee Intermediate School District. “We are excited to host Senator Stabenow in Genesee County for this important discussion to shine a light on high wage job opportunities that do not require four years of college.”


Senator Stabenow authored the New Skills for New Jobs Act of 2015 that builds on successful job training partnerships between our community colleges and local businesses to help close the skills gap and support businesses that are ready to hire. Stabenow plans to reintroduce this legislation in the fall following feedback from stakeholders during her workforce discussions.  


According to a study conducted by National Association of Manufacturers and Deloitte, by 2025, over 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled. Yet due to the skills gap, 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled. The study also revealed that while Americans consider manufacturing among one of the most important domestic industries for maintaining a strong national economy, they rank it low as a career choice for themselves. Only 37 percent of respondents in the study indicated they would encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career.