Senator Stabenow Kicks Off Series of Workforce Discussions Across Michigan

Stabenow Meets with Local Business and Labor Leaders, Educators, and Parents at the Detroit Electrical Industry Training Center in Warren

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today kicked off a week-long series of workforce discussions across Michigan at the Detroit Electrical Industry Training Center in Warren. 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, Macomb Community College, Macomb 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.”


“We are training new apprentices everyday with skills that will help them earn a great wage without any college debt,” said Jason Dahl, Training Director of the Detroit Electrical Industry Training Institute. “I want to thank Senator Stabenow for supporting our efforts and focusing on how we can work together and make more students and parents aware of these opportunities and fill the demand for high-skilled, good paying jobs.”


“Macomb Community College has a long history of working closely with employers to prepare individuals for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said James O. Sawyer IV, President, Macomb Community College. “We’re also committed to building heightened awareness with youth and their parents about the well-paying and meaningful career opportunities available to those with community college credentials. We applaud Senator Stabenow’s continued support of the Michigan New Jobs Training Program and her efforts to highlight the great options available to those with technical skills.”


“As leaders, we are preparing our students for every opportunity after they graduate high school including the many Career Technical Education programs available at our high schools throughout the county,” said Michael DeVault, Superintendent, Macomb Intermediate School District. “We are excited to join Senator Stabenow for this important discussion and 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.