ABC is devoted to a well educated workforce.

Michigan students should be given the opportunities to meet rigorous skilled trades standards as part of their high school curriculum.

Opportunities to pursue rigorous, needed and well-paid skilled trades careers are often overlooked by students. Some students may wish to pursue skilled trades education in high school, but have previously been unable to do so because the high school curricula have been focused specifically on those students who wish to pursue four-year academic opportunities. Although Michigan graduation requirements ensure a 21st century high school curriculum for college-bound students, opportunities for students to pursue rigorous and relevant Career Technical Education (CTE), vocational and trade careers while in high school have not been as accessible.

We're excited that Michigan has recently started to take steps to open up more skilled trades opportunities to students, while maintaining the necessary academic rigor required for high school graduates. ABC supported recent changes to the Michigan Merit Curriculum that strengthen graduation requirements to allow for vocational and skilled trades training for students who wish to take advantage of the opportunity to learn a trade while in high school. 

Why Skilled Trades Education?
Our educational system has emphasized university education to the detriment of rewarding, honorable careers in the skilled trades. Yet, students who pursue the skilled trades can end up graduating high school with marketable skills, and in many cases, job offers. And, for students who are willing to continue on in their training (typically while also being paid), there is almost unlimited unlimited career mobility in the skilled trades. Research suggests that students who enter the workforce more quickly with skilled trades training can make more over their course of their working life than individuals who chose to enter a four year university and incur student loans. 

Plus, the job market continues to grow. In fact, by the end of the next decade, over 2 million U.S. construction jobs will need to be filled. 

The State of Michigan expects construction job opportunities to expand in the next decade, particularly due to a workforce nearing retirement age.

Learn more about the construction industry.

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ABC of Michigan is a statewide trade association representing the commercial and industrial construction industries. Dedicated to open competition, equal opportunity and accountability in construction, ABC members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.