Michigan House Passes Legislation to Close Skills Gap

Michigan House Passes Legislation to Close Skills Gap

December 19, 2017

Michigan’s House of Representatives passed a series of bills aimed at addressing the state’s growing skills gap by ensuring students are prepared for life after high school and that employers have access to a high-quality pipeline of talent.  The bills, born out of recommendations from Governor Snyder’s Career Pathways Alliance led by Talent and Economic Development Director Roger Curtis and State Superintendent Brian Whiston, include the following:

HB 5139, sponsored by Rep. Daire Rendon, requires the Michigan Department of Education to create a model of career development instruction. The model would define learning targets for each grade level, include instruction for students in grades K-12, incorporate career development education within core subject instruction, and strategies for engaging with parents, businesses and industries. Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, school districts must incorporate career development into the curriculum in each grade level.

HB 5140, sponsored by Rep. Sue Allor, allows postsecondary education institutions, Michigan Works!, apprenticeship programs, and career and technical education training employers access to high school pupil directory information for the purposes of recruitment and offering career opportunities. Schools would have to get permission from parents before sharing a student’s information with the entities.

HB 5141, sponsored by Rep. Bronna Kahle, allows schools to hire experienced professionals to teach career and technical education classes that align with their expertise or individuals holding a professional license or industry credential.

HB 5145, sponsored by Rep. Julie Alexander, gives teachers credit toward professional development requirements by engaging with area employers and post-secondary training centers. The time could be applied to teacher certification renewals.


“Michigan’s leaders are taking action to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce. By ensuring that all students will have access to courses and certifications for the many good jobs available in the state, they will be better prepared for success after graduation, and Michigan’s economy will benefit.”
J. Alex Kelly, ExcelinEd in Action National Legislative Director


To assist states in improving the relevance and value of their career and technical education programs, ExcelinEd has published Putting Career and Technical Education to Work for Students: A Playbook for State Policymakers. The playbook examines challenges to improving CTE program quality and puts forth a practical process states can use to align their programs with regional and state labor data and industry demands.