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Skilled trades workers desperately needed in Michigan

Thomas Hawk

There are about 80,000 skilled trade jobs that remain unfilled in Michigan. A new report from Grand Valley State University says this could spell trouble for the state’s economic future.  

Brian Long, Director of Supply Chain Research at GVSU and author of the study, says there aren’t enough qualified skilled trades workers in West Michigan.

“All I can really say is that the industrial world is screaming for them,” Long said.

Cities like Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo have placed a bigger emphasis on industrial trades programs for high school curriculums in the past five years. 

Governor Snyder has also mentioned skilled trades being an important piece of Michigan’s future growth. But Long says years of Michigan schools cutting those programs has already taken a toll.

“But now gradually those programs are coming back, but they are not coming back fast enough to meet the demand,” he said.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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