Zorn co-sponsors creation of skilled trades act

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn introduced legislation on Wednesday as part of a package of bills to update and improve guidelines and standards for skilled trade professions.

“As the owner of a small business that 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. “I co-sponsored the creation of the skilled trades act because it will ensure that we have 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 will 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.

“Jobs in manufacturing and other skilled trades have led the Michigan recovery, yet our growth is being limited because many job providers are finding it difficult to find young people with the technical skills needed for available jobs,” Zorn said. “By putting in place updated, uniform standards that meet the highest marks for enforcement and efficiency, Michigan can 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many Michigan workers are licensed across multiple trades and are subject to varying processes and requirements due to outdated statutes.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).

The bills have been referred to the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee for consideration.