DETROIT – Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan proposed the state spend $100 million over five years to spur development of worker skills in manufacturing and other sectors with hard-to-fill jobs.
“We are currently holding ourselves back,” Snyder said today during a presentation at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit. “It’s time for a change.”
Snyder is seeking approval from the Michigan Legislature for his Marshall Plan for Talent. It’s named after the US program that rebuilt Europe after World War II. The Michigan version of the Marshall Plan calls for a greater emphasis on students acquiring job skills.
Marshall Plan proposals include spending $50 million on new and expanded educational programs and $25 million for student financial support.
The Snyder administration estimates there will be more than 811,000 “high-demand career openings” through 2024. Besides manufacturing, the administration says the job openings will be in health care, information technology, professional trades and other sectors.
In manufacturing, the administration says openings will be for jobs such as machinists, mechanical and industrial engineers and CNC operators and programmers.
Snyder said his plan to develop more skills among students is “about turbo-charging things, of going to the next level.”
‘Hit the Accelerator’
The governor said the state has “resources available in our budget, in my view” for his Marshall program. The $100 million in spending would be in addition to existing talent development programs in Michigan.
“We need to hit the accelerator, folks,” Snyder said during his presentation. The governor did not stay to take questions from reporters.
Snyder, a former business executive, is in his last year as governor. He was first elected in 2010 and took office as Michigan was still recovering from a severe recession that saw two major Detroit-area automakers, General Motors Co. and Chrysler, undergo bankruptcy as part of a US-back bailout. Snyder also received criticism for his administration’s handling of the Flint, MI, water crisis of 2014.