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Senator Stabenow announces 'New Skills for New Jobs Agenda' in Grand Rapids

In an effort to funnel more skilled labor into the Michigan workforce pipeline, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow announced her New Skills for New Jobs Agenda. The announcement follows a statewide ‘listening tour’ Stabenow made with business owners and labor leaders who Stabenow said all lemented not having enough skilled labor to fill job vacancies. 

In response, part of the New Skills For New Jobs Agenda includes promoting existing business skilled trade union partnerships and reaching out to students. 

“Young people, who may think the only choice they have is a four year college," Stabenow said. "Not understanding they can go to a professional trade school and come out with a career and do that at no cost to themselves, and walk into a great paying job.”

While the New Skills for New Jobs Act builds the Michigan New Jobs Training Program where students attend community college for skilled training and then that college is reimbursed by State Withholding Taxes, Senator Stabenow says her New Skills for New Jobs act would provide a federal match to increase the number of workers and businesses that can participate in the program.

“My legislation would match dollar for dollar basically double the number of people being able to train for specific jobs," she said. "Right now about 20,000 people have been trained through this program. This would double it.”

The agenda also makes a strong effort to train more school counselors. While less than 3 out of 10 parents would recommend manufacturing jobs to their children, Stabenow says better trained counselors could let parents and students know about the well-paying jobs that are available in skilled trades. 

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