MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - More than 40 committee members came together to take part in the biggest meeting the Career Technical Education committee has ever had on Wednesday in Marquette.
"We're trying to make a big difference for the kids in the community,” said CTE committee chair, Stu Bradley.
Bradley was just one of many who shared this feeling on Wednesday.
"We want to work together to help kids,” he explained. “That's our main motivation."
The committee, which has been around for more than five years, started with only three people.
Now, their meetings are filled with more than 40 committee members who all share one common goal.
"When you look at the jobs that are available out there and the opportunities that are out there for young people for career opportunities, especially in the skilled trades, it's enormous, and so we have to focus on those issues equally like we would a college degree, or anything else,” explained Legislative Director, Tom Casperson.
Casperson, who was present Wednesday on behalf of State Senator Ed McBroom, talked about the Ameri-curriculum program McBroom is working on in Lansing.
This opportunity would provide flexibility in students' curriculum with different career paths.
U.S. Senator Gary Peters also plans to increase skilled trade jobs throughout the state by working with educational and manufacturing partners to create the National Institute of Manufacturing.
"This would streamline 58 federal programs specific to manufacturing now through 11 different agencies, within the federal government into one house,” explained Katelyn Rader, Sen. Peters’ U.P. Representative.
Meanwhile U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is fighting for the New Skills for New Jobs Act to provide more money to hire more skilled trade teachers.
"We need to plug kids in to where their talents lie and where their interests are,” explained Casperson.
On top of this, there's also a proposed $50 million budget for CTE programs from Governor Gretchen Whitmer, which will soon be discussed.
"I'm very proud of what's happened and I think we have no negative comments that come up at any of these meetings,” said Bradley.
Bradley and many others say they're looking forward to promising updates at their next meeting in September.