PROOS: Celebrating National Manufacturing Day

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Manufacturing helped build Michigan’s economy. Today, the industry is responsible for one-fifth of our state’s gross state product and employs more than 600,000 Michigan workers.

National Manufacturing Day is Oct. 5. It is a day to celebrate an industry that is the engine of our economy, showcase the innovative and impactful work manufacturers do every day, and inspire more Michigan students to consider a rewarding career in manufacturing.

Last year, more than 270 events were hosted around the state to highlight today’s 21st Century manufacturing, the products made here in Michigan and the high-wage career opportunities that are already available in our state.

Manufacturing is leading our economic recovery and helping us reduce unemployment in our state by more than 70 percent — from a high of 14.2 percent in 2009 to 4.1 percent in August.

The August unemployment rate is the state’s lowest rate in nearly 18 years and is the direct result of our efforts to create a positive environment for job growth, which has helped add more than half a million new private sector jobs in Michigan including over 145,000 manufacturing jobs.

None of this would be possible with a skilled workforce. As our economy continues to grow and create jobs, we must ensure Michigan workers are ready for success.

The governor recently signed my legislation to provide students with important career outlook information and reward students for taking extra science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses.

Public Acts 241 and 242 of 2018 allow Michigan students to receive a STEM certification on their diploma and require schools to provide students with the most recent analysis of in-demand occupations in the school’s region.

Michigan is now the first state in the nation to allow this STEM certification opportunity.

Both measures will help Michigan manufacturers attract and hire highly skilled Michigan workers to continue our economic comeback.

JOHN PROOS, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties.