Zorn supports $100 million talent investment

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved legislation to fully fund and implement the governor’s $100 million “Marshall Plan for Talent.”

“Although Michigan’s economy is growing and creating jobs, many of these positions remain unfilled,” said Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida. “This significant investment in Michigan talent would help ensure our students are prepared for success in well-paying, in-demand careers.”

According to the governor, Michigan will have more than 811,000 career openings to fill through 2024 in fields that are facing talent shortages.

Senate Bills 941 and 942 would invest $100 million in new competency-based education programs, equipment for the program and career and technology education, student scholarships, career exploration tools and more.

Schools would receive $10.5 million for career development facilitators to help students explore available career pathways and create learning plans, and $20 million would be used to assist low-income residents with the cost of obtaining a degree or credential in a high-demand field.

“The Marshall Plan for Talent could be a game-changing approach in how we develop and attract new talent to fuel economic growth and close the current talent gap facing employers,” Zorn said. “As a result, this investment would give our students a competitive advantage in having a long career in exciting fields, like the skilled trades, health care and computer science.”

The Senate bills would distribute grant funds through a tiered approach based on district student population, consolidate the many grant applications in one master “Marshal Plan” application, and require 50 percent of grant funds to be awarded by June 1, 2019.

SBs 941 and 942 have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Zorn are available at www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Audio.