Senate’s skilled trades legislation headed to the governor

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

Zorn co-sponsored skilled trades act

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn as part of a legislative package to update and improve guidelines and standards for skilled trade professions is on its way to the governor to be signed.

“As a small business owner who employs and depends on highly skilled workers, I know first-hand the need for standards that are tough, clear and efficient,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This skilled trades package will ensure that Michigan has safe and high standards and also help encourage current and future workers to choose a rewarding and successful career in the skilled trades.”

Senate Bills 963-972 would combine more than 30 years of state statutes to create the Skilled Trades Regulation Act in Michigan. The state currently operates under ambiguous statutes that have been pieced together over time and lack modern language with regard to application and complaint processes and enforcement of penalties.

The legislation would solve several consistency issues within the state’s skilled labor industries and establish efficient application, renewal, and testing processes for licensees.

“While jobs in manufacturing and other skilled trades have led the recovery in Michigan, that economic growth is limited as many job providers are having difficulty finding young people with the necessary technical skills,” Zorn said. “I look forward to seeing the governor sign this important initiative into law — putting in place updated, uniform standards that meet the highest marks for enforcement and efficiency.

“With these new laws, Michigan would be able to better ensure the safety of our workers, the quality of their work and the ability of employers to find the skilled workers they need.”

Under current law, many Michigan workers are licensed across multiple trades and are subject to varying processes and requirements due to outdated statutes. The new act would provide reliability for professionals with multiple skilled trade licenses.

Sponsors of the 10-bill package include Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth (SBs 963, 966 and 970); Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy (SB 967); Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford (SB 969); Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City (SBs 964-965 and 971); Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton (SB 972); and Zorn (SB 968).