Michigan Diplomas Could be First in the Nation with STEM Certification

Proos CTEIf enacted, Michigan would be the first state to offer such a STEM certification opportunity.

This initiative is the next step in ensuring that we are doing all we can to help prepare all Michigan students for success and also meet the skilled workforce needs of a growing economy.

The governor recently signed my bill to encourage schools to establish programs that award credit toward a college degree or an industry-recognized professional certificate, giving students on-the-job training.

Putting a STEM certification on a student’s diploma and transcript can help improve their college resume and their chances to land a well-paying job.

I recently celebrated the second-annual Manufacturing Day with local business leaders and students to recognize area manufacturers for their innovation and growth. They are expanding and creating jobs, and they support increased efforts to help students earn the training needed to fill thousands of positions currently available in Southwest Michigan.

Michigan Diplomas Could be First in U.S. for STEM Certification

WNDU-TV

Proos CTELegislation sponsored by Sen. John Proos and Rep. Amanda Price would help give Michigan students a leg up on getting a job in a high-skilled career or continuing their education.

Senate Bills 1109 and 1110 and House Bills 5904 and 5905 would allow a student to receive a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) certification on their high school diploma. The STEM endorsement would also be visible on student transcripts for future technical training, community college and college application review.

“This initiative is the next step in ensuring that we are doing all we can to help prepare all Michigan students for success and also meet the skilled workforce needs of a growing economy,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The governor recently signed my legislation to strongly encourage schools to establish programs that award credit toward a college degree or an industry-recognized professional certificate – giving students on-the-job training. Putting this certification on a student’s diploma and transcript will help improve their college resume and their chances to land a well-paying job.”

According to Proos and Price, if the bills are enacted, Michigan would be the first state in the United States to institute such a STEM certification opportunity.

“The Legislature has worked hard to ensure that our students can pursue their own career opportunities in high school and beyond, because we recognize that education is not one-size-fits-all,” said Price, R-Park Township. “By giving students the option to pursue this certification on their high school diplomas, we are helping them take the next step in their educational careers and encouraging them to pursue their own brighter futures.”

Gov. Rick Snyder has repeatedly called for an increased focus on STEM education in Michigan schools — objectives advocated by Proos and Price.

Proos’ bill, now Public Act 288 of 2014, requires the Department of Education to post online information on how schools can work with local businesses, public-private partnerships, trade organizations, universities and community colleges to provide quality STEM education.

“I recently celebrated the second-annual Manufacturing Day with local business leaders and students to recognize area manufacturers for their innovation and growth,” Proos said. “They are expanding and creating jobs, and they support increased efforts to help students earn the training needed to fill thousands of positions currently available in Southwest Michigan.”

Last year, Proos sponsored Senate Resolution 90 declaring Oct. 4, 2013 as Michigan Manufacturers Day. This year’s Manufacturing Day event was held on Oct. 3 at Mach Mold in Benton Harbor and offered an opportunity for lawmakers to interact with area manufacturing leaders about the industry.

SBs 1109 and 1110 and HBs 5904 and 5905 will be formally introduced and referred to their respective committees when the Legislature returns to session.

Career Training Will Help Students be Job-Ready

Proos_Average JoesThousands of Michigan jobs remain unfilled because employers cannot find enough skilled workers. To help meet this workforce need, Gov. Rick Snyder has called for an increased focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in our schools.

I am strong supporter of STEM and career and technical education (CTE) because applied learning done in coordination with public-private partnerships and STEM education can help prepare children for success and also meet the workforce needs of a growing economy.

Recently, my bill to connect unfilled jobs with classroom education and training was unanimously approved and sent to the governor to be signed.

Senate Bill 66 allows for the sharing of information between schools and businesses with workforce needs and provides students and parents with information on CTE opportunities.

The Department of Education would be required to provide CTE course information to schools and post online about CTE best practices from around Michigan and the country.

The department will also post online details on how CTE courses can be used to fulfill the state’s high school graduation requirements; information on successful CTE programs; and information on how schools can work with local businesses, public-private partnerships, trade organizations, universities and community colleges to provide quality CTE.

Applied learning is most effective when students who complete the courses are job-ready. That is why the bill also urges schools to establish programs that award credit toward a college degree or a professional certificate – giving students on-the-job training.

State Senator John Proos Talks Smart Phone Security

Proos at the MikeWKZO-Radio

LANSING (WKZO) — State Senator John Proos is warning Michigan seniors about a new kind of digital threat. Proos, who sits on the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, says that we’ve all heard about computer viruses, but now, hackers are targeting smart phones.

“Some of our older folks in our society have less and less understanding of spyware, spamware,” Proos said. “All of the other malware out there can cause so many problems, and ultimately can lead to the loss of one’s identity and the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars across the nation.”

Proos says that everyone should be mindful of how much personal information they have on their phones, and be careful about what they install on it. Just because an app is available, that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Kim Komando has a few suggestions regarding security software for your phone in this article.

Proos Talks Broadband Expansion in Michigan

South Haven CTE Capitol DayWKZO- Radio

Michigan lawmakers on Thursday listened in on a discussion about expanding broadband internet access to new areas in the the state.

State Senator John Proos says that the 2013 Michigan Broadband Conference was held partly to talk about underserved areas of the state when it comes to high speed service. He says that it’s essential to get the technology everywhere in Michigan so that the state can compete economically and in education.

As the designated entity for broadband mapping and planning in the state, Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation. It works with local governments, businesses, and residents to achieve the goal of increasing broadband service in underserved areas. Proos says that everyone should look at http://www.ConnectMI.org to find out about how they can help with that effort.

Helping Increase High-Speed Internet Access

South Haven CTE Capitol DayFrom posting on Facebook to reading email, dependable Internet access has become vital to our everyday lives.

This access is also about jobs. Studies show that 90 percent of Americans use the Internet to locate products and services.

Southwest Michigan’s geographic diversity is part of what makes our region an excellent place to live, work and raise a family, but it also means many rural areas struggle with consistent, fast Internet service.

We cannot allow locally owned companies to fall behind because they are not able to meet the high-speed needs of online customers.

That is why Connect Michigan is working with state and local officials to expand high-speed Internet service to all residents, an effort that will increase access to information and opportunities in Southwest Michigan.

For more information about Connect Michigan, I encourage residents to visit http://www.connectmi.org. Visitors to the site can check the availability of broadband Internet access in their area and locate a service provider.

On Thursday, Oct. 24, Connect Michigan will co-host the 2013 Michigan Broadband Conference at the Kellogg Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to contribute to the conversation about digital job creation, technology used by small businesses, and rural infrastructure.

To register for the conference or find out more information about it, visit http://www.connectmi.org/broadband-summit.

Make School Curriculum About Career Perparation

Proos_Average JoesThe goal of Michigan’s tough high school graduation requirements was to ensure all graduates were ready for college, enabling them to compete for jobs in the new global economy.

But education is not a one-size-fits-all business. Each child is different, and I have introduced reform to give students more choices and allow them to prepare for rewarding careers.

Senate Bill 66 would allow students to count additional career and technical education courses toward meeting the state’s high school graduation requirements.

I support a rigorous education that prepares children for success in college and beyond, but college may not be for everyone. My reform is about ensuring our schools are about getting students ready for a career, not just ready for college.

We have achieved much to bring more jobs to our state, but many manufacturers are finding it difficult to find young workers with the required technical skills.

In his recent State of the State address, Gov. Rick Snyder called for increased skilled trades training to help meet these workforce needs.

I agree with the governor that we must train students for all careers. We need to prepare the next generation of teachers, doctors and engineers.

However, we also need to train workers for careers in technical and manufacturing positions – jobs that already exist and are available in Southwest Michigan.

Flexibility in Michigan’s high school curriculum will give all our students a chance to succeed by letting them sit down with their parents and teachers and choose the educational path that best uses their talents, meets their goals and prepares them for a valuable and fulfilling career.

Sen. Proos Sponsors High School Tech Bill

Proos_Average JoesThe Herald Palladium

State Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, has sponsored legislation to allow options for students to count additional career and technical education, or CTE, courses toward meeting the state’s high school graduation requirements.

Senate Bill 66 would revise the state’s high school graduation requirements to allow seven credits to be filled either through the current route or through CTE courses, which would include work-based learning by a student such as an internship or apprenticeship.

In a news release, Proos noted he introduced his bill as Gov. Rick Snyder in his State of the State address called for increased skilled trades training to help meet the work force needs of manufacturers.

“I support a rigorous education that prepares our children for success in college and beyond, but we must also acknowledge that college may not be for everyone,” Proos said. “This is about ensuring our schools are about getting students ready for a career, not just ready for college.

“Education is not a one-size-fits-all business. Each child is different, and I am introducing this reform to give our students more choices and flexibility and allow them to prepare for the jobs that exist in our state.”

SB 66 was turned in on Wednesday and will be formally introduced in the Michigan Senate and referred to a committee this Wednesday, the next session day.

Teaming Up with Connect Michigan to Increase Broadband

Connect Michigan has teamed up with local leaders to launch the Southwest Regional Broadband Initiative to help meet the Internet needs of area families and businesses.

This will allow residents to access information and communicate more efficiently – opening a world of opportunities. Most importantly, it can help create jobs and stimulate our economy.

Broadband transcends boundaries by impacting economic development, education, health, transportation and our quality of life. Recognizing the potential positive impacts of high speed internet, the Southwest Michigan Regional Planning Commission is sponsoring this initiative to expand broadband access and use across Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties.

I recently attended the initiative’s kickoff meeting with more than 30 officials from various economic development organizations, schools and colleges, local governments and internet service providers.

The Southwest Michigan Regional Broadband Initiative team, with support from Connect Michigan, will meet regularly to plan for and address broadband improvements to benefit local residents and businesses.

As the designated entity for broadband mapping and planning in our state, Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation.

It works with local governments, businesses and residents to achieve the goal of increasing broadband service in under served areas. For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan, visit http://www.connectmi.org.

Coloma Students Show What is Possible Throught Creativity, Collaboration and Hard Work

Coloma High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) students were honored in February by the Michigan Department of Education with the Excellence in Practice Award for a metal dinosaur sculpture project.

The school’s art, robotics and welding departments came together to complete this remarkable project.

It represents what Michigan students and teachers can achieve through creativity, collaboration and hard work.

I was proud to welcome these dedicated students and their teachers to the Capitol recently, and was able to see their talents firsthand.

The Excellence in Practice Award recognizes successful, exemplary state-approved CTE programs and career initiatives. The programs must demonstrate outstanding outcomes, produce measurable results for students and meet the challenge of high academic rigor.

We have done much to make Michigan more competitive for job, including those in manufacturing. While we work to bring these jobs to our state, we must ensure that Michigan will continue to have workers with the skills necessary to land these jobs.

That is why I co-sponsored Senate Bill 997 to revise the state’s high school graduation requirements to allow seven credits to be filled either through the current route or through career and technical courses.

The program at Coloma High School is about offering a way for young people to explore the many career options available to them. I strongly support the program and encourage Southwest Michigan residents to come out and see their sculptures at Grandpa’s Cider Mill in Coloma.