LIVONIA, Mich. (12/11/14)--In a guest commentary that appeared in Bridge magazine, Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) President/CEO Dave Adams outlined how Michigan credit unions are helping young people secure work in the skilled trades.
Bridge is a publication from the Center for Michigan, which encourages a greater understanding and involvement in policy issues among the state's citizens by making sure their voices are regularly heard.
In Michigan, the skilled trades as a whole are expected to grow by 7.4% by 2020, and many industries are expected to expand much more substantially--in some cases, 30% to 50%.
The MCUL collaborated with U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Michigan's Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to research the state's employment needs and investigate how credit unions could help build the state's work force in the skilled trades.
"The collaboration resulted in development of free resources for teens and young adults to evaluate skilled trade occupations," Adams explained. The resources include a career and technical training guide, which features 24 in-demand skilled trade careers grouped into five clusters as designated by WDA: manufacturing, health care, agriculture, energy and information technology.
The league also partnered with a Michigan teacher to create lesson plans to explore the skilled trades. The plans help students learn about skilled trades industries as a whole, then identify their skill sets and which positions might interest them. All of these materials are available for free on the league's website.
"Choosing a career is a monumental decision," Adams wrote. "MCUL wants to ensure that young people have the right tools at their disposal to make a decision that's most right for them--whether it's pursuing a four-year degree or looking for work in the skilled trades. Either way, if young people discover they can make a significant contribution and a good living by staying in Michigan, we all win."