President Donald Trump has signed into law bipartisan legislation that includes provisions authored by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) to close the workforce skills gap by strengthening career and technical education (CTE) counseling training.
Peters’ provisions will help expand school counselor training and awareness of CTE so they can help inform students of post-high school education opportunities outside of the traditional four-year college degree.
“By giving our school counselors the right tools, we can help students find the best path to a good-paying, fulfilling career and build the skilled workforce we need to remain globally competitive,” said Senator Peters. “I’m pleased the President signed these provisions into law so more students can get the training they need to fill the growing number of skilled jobs in Michigan and across the country.”
According to the Joint Economic Committee, there are more than 44 million middle-skill jobs – or careers that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree – in the United States.
More than a third of the 30 fastest growing occupations fall into this category.
In Michigan, 36% of jobs are middle-skill, with the median middle-skill salary slightly above $44,000 and projected job growth at 7%.
CTE programs can provide students with in-demand skills that lead to good-paying jobs, and often without incurring significant student loan debt.
Unfortunately, many school counselors are not adequately trained to advise students on post-high school educational opportunities outside of the traditional four-year college degree.
Counselors often struggle to find high-quality options for training in CTE counseling.
Peters’ provisions will provide grant opportunities for counselor training programs to identify and develop evidence-based strategies for strengthening CTE counseling.
CTE programming as a whole is based on needs assessments at the state and local levels to identify in-demand sectors and occupations.