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Schuette’s Paycheck Training Plan Will Help Students And Workers Fill Jobs and Start New Careers

The Paycheck Training Plan will put job training choices in the hands of students, schools and job creators, not Lansing bureaucrats

LANSING – Michigan gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette today announced his Paycheck Training Plan to ensure that high school students are ready for a skilled trade career at graduation and thousands of adults who dropped out of Michigan’s workforce have the hope of learning new skills to fill thousands of good-paying jobs that are currently available.

“There are good-paying jobs in skilled trades, manufacturing, healthcare, information technology and other fields that require something more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree,” Schuette said. “Those jobs are available right now across Michigan, but we don’t have enough people in the workforce or trained in a way that empowers them to step into those roles. By any estimate, we need to do better and do more. And we will.”

Schuette’s plan eschews top-down planning by Lansing bureaucrats, instead focusing on empowering educators and employers to find solutions to local needs, and giving students and adults career choices instead of being directed toward government-chosen career paths.

High School Graduates Must Be READY

First, Schuette will work to ensure that high school graduates are ready at graduation for jobs that may not necessarily require a traditional college degree. Our current system has left thousands of skilled jobs unfilled while students are pressured to pursue traditional college degrees that can leave them with crippling debt and limited job opportunities. Only about half of all college students graduate within six years and student-loan debt is at a staggering $1.3 trillion nationally. While a college-based career path is the right choice for many, thousands could find good-paying careers with something different than the traditional bachelor degree. As governor, Schuette wants high school graduates ready to pursue these opportunities.

Finding Michigan’s Missing Workforce

Second, Schuette seeks to draw adults back into our workforce with new training opportunities and the hope of a better paying job. Michigan’s workforce has shrunk over the last several years, even beyond the national average. According to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan’s labor participation rate has dropped from 68.7% in 2000 to only 61.4% in 2017.

What Can We Learn from the Recruitment of Amazon?

Recently, many Michigan leaders quickly and aggressively worked together to pursue the Amazon HQ2 project. This type of cooperative leadership is essential for Michigan to match and beat our competitors. These efforts, in Grand Rapids and Detroit, must be praised. While the pursuit of Amazon showed several areas where Michigan must improve to compete, it is clear that Michigan’s policies of the last decade-plus have left us with a shrunken workforce that does not have enough skilled workers.

Schuette’s priority as governor will be to act immediately to address Michigan’s needs on this issue, bringing together educators, businesses, labor leaders and philanthropists to spark a broad cultural change that makes high-quality career training central to Michigan K-12 education and workforce development.

“We know there are multiple pathways to the American dream. Michigan needs a broad, balanced approach to high school education that prepares students with the skills and experience needed to excel at work and in life,” said Schuette. “As governor, I will make it a priority to improve access in high school to vocational education, apprenticeships and job training.”

“Whether our kids choose to be college-ready or workforce-ready, they must be ready.”

Schuette’s Paycheck Training Plan for Empowering Students, Schools and Job Creators to Create Better Vocational Education & Job Training in Michigan:

1. Let Students Decide – Lansing bureaucrats should not be choosing which careers or school programs are best. Instead, we should empower local decision making and create opportunity for every child, in any school, in all fields of study.

2. Supporting Community Partnerships – We should incentivize schools and businesses to partner together to build programs that combine rigorous academic standards and hands-on practical training that result in a job. To help achieve this, we should strive to remove barriers to apprenticeship programs that lead to jobs, such as cultural bias against non-college careers, lack of transportation, and Michigan Department of Education rules regarding so-called “seat time” in the classroom.

3. Increase Personalized Instruction – Schools must harness technology to integrate online and bricks-and-mortar learning for tailored instruction that fits individual student needs. This could include allowing different speeds of learning, bringing industry expertise into the classroom via the internet, exposing students to cutting edge equipment, or allowing schools to adopt “balanced” calendars that spread class time over the whole year and reduce learning gaps from long vacations.

4. Modernizing Standards & Certification – We must make it easier for students to complete college credits during high school or fast-track through community college programs. Employers and educators should be working side-by-side to update academic standards to match career and technical programs and modernize industry certifications so that it is clear what students need to be attractive to employers in these fields.

5. Training Options that Are NOT Controlled by Lansing – For example, job training programs that pair employers with community colleges to quickly train people for locally available jobs should be used, keeping decision making local.

6. Michigan Paycheck Portal – Schuette will create a digital hub for student internships and apprenticeships, allowing for career exploration through job descriptions and qualifications, so that students can see what is required for a given job and what the work is like. The site will also post Michigan-based job listings to help students stay in Michigan after they graduate.

7. Regional Focus – We must give flexibility for local educators and businesses to design programs that meet their region’s needs, using proven curricula to prepare students for available jobs in their area.

8. Empower Schools to Tap Industry Expertise for Teaching – Schuette will direct the Michigan Department of Education to upgrade teacher certification requirements so schools can hire non-traditional instructors with the technical expertise needed for industry-specific programs, expanding the teacher talent pool and taking advantage of people who are experts in their fields.

9. Improve Facilities – Schuette’s plan calls for creating more state-of-the-art, efficient, multi-purpose sites in existing and new facilities that can serve students by day and adults on nights and weekends. He will make facility upgrades easier and more affordable for schools and other providers by working with the top credit rating agencies in the country to obtain lower-cost financing. Instead of schools sitting empty at night, on weekends and during the summer, these facilities could be used for adult education and job training.

10. Smart Funding – As governor, Schuette will redirect existing state resources toward vocational education and the advanced teacher training necessary to make our programs cutting-edge and the best in the nation. Schuette will also seek to maintain a consistent state education budget from year-to-year, so schools can plan ahead, instead of constantly changing categorical items in the K-12 budget.

Bill Schuette’s Paycheck Agenda:

Attorney General Bill Schuette previously released tax and ethics reform proposals as part of his Paycheck Agenda, which is focused on putting more money back in families’ pockets and giving taxpayers the best return on their investment.

Create Jobs and Bigger Paychecks by Eliminating the Granholm Income Tax Increase: President Trump cut taxes and the results have been immediate— bigger paychecks and new auto jobs brought to Michigan. Now, Michigan needs tax reform to take our economy higher and help us compete with the fastest growing states. Schuette’s Paycheck Agenda calls for rolling back the Granholm Income Tax Increase, which has cost taxpayers a whopping $8 billion since 2007.

Ethics and Transparency Reform: Schuette’s Paycheck Agenda contains significant ethics reforms, including new FOIA requirements for the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor, increased university transparency and limiting lobbying by ex-state officials. Schuette says if increased transparency and ethics reform is not discussed and enacted into law soon, government may never regain trust from taxpayers. Read more here:

More #PaycheckAgenda plans will be released in the coming weeks and months. Please visit for more information, or see us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@SchuetteOnDuty).


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