MEA President supports Governor Snyder's emphasis on Voc/Tech training

Urges funding to back it up

East Lansing, Mich., Oct. 3, 2012 – Governor Rick Snyder recently spoke out on the need to expand vocational and technical education for Michigan students.

At the West Michigan Policy Forum held in Grand Rapids, Governor Snyder expressed the need for renewed emphasis on technical training to prepare students for the jobs available in a changing economy.

MEA President Steven Cook applauded the Governor’s support of increased technical and vocational training for Michigan students. 

“Providing students with the training to match the jobs that are being created in today’s society is clearly a worthy goal.  I appreciate the Governor’s focus and support of vocational and technical education in Michigan public schools,” Cook said.

“It is important to show support for technical and vocational education by properly funding programs that are vital to preparing students for those new jobs.”

While President Cook supports the Governor’s emphasis on vocational/technical training, he urged policy makers to take a broad view of the value of education.

“The value of a good education goes far beyond simple job growth and employability.  A good education benefits the entire citizenry.  The economic benefits of education are undeniable, but it is also important to remember the value of education to society as a whole. A good education lays the groundwork for a well informed citizen, which is the basis of a healthy democracy,” Cook said.

Governor Snyder also made a statement at the West Michigan Policy Forum that few Republicans ever dare to speak: “Having the right kind of talent is more critical to the long-term success of a business than taxes and regulations.”

“I whole heartedly agree with the Governor’s statement.  Unfortunately, the policy direction that he and Legislature have pursued does not adhere to that,” Cook said.  “If they truly believed producing the right kind of talent through educational opportunities was more important than business taxes, the Republicans would not have given corporate special interests a $1.8 billion tax cut in 2011, while at the same time, cutting funding to public education by $1 billion.”

Contact:   Doug Pratt, MEA Director of Public Affairs, 517-337-5566