Michigan Schools to Expand CTE Programs; Gain State-Of-The Art Requirements With $12.5 Million in State Grants

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

December 8, 2017

LANSING – Michigan is investing $12.5 million to help students gain in-demand career skills on state-of-the-art equipment, boost awareness, and provide more training opportunities, State Superintendent Brian Whiston said today. 

The $12.5 million includes $7 million to be distributed equally to Career Education Planning Districts across the state. The state also has $5 million in competitive grants available to districts demonstrating partnerships with higher education and industries, and can demonstrate how funding will be used to increase training in high-wage, high-skill, high-demand occupations. 

“We want students across the state to have access to strong career and technical education programs,” Whiston said. “These grants will help all districts, and allow some to show how to develop partnerships within their communities and build awareness so students know what opportunities exist.”

The $5 million competitive grant must be used to

  • make CTE classes more available;
  • demonstrate the commitment of local and regional partners, as well as employer demand;
  • increase career awareness for students, adult learners, parents, teachers and counselors; and
  • boost student work-based learning opportunities, apprenticeships and teacher/counselor externships.

Grants will range from $100,000 to $1 million and are expected to be announced in late January 2018. 

Additional funding for CTE equipment was a recommendation from the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance, which was created by Gov. Rick Snyder and is headed by Whiston and Roger Curtis, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development. The alliance includes more than 100 education, business, economic development and labor organizations from across the state.

“It’s more difficult for students to get the training they need if they are learning on long-outdated equipment,” Curtis said. “These grants will help schools modernize, with the guidance from local partners who know the skills – and equipment -- needed to be successful today and moving forward. We appreciate the support from the Legislature to make this happen.”

For the $7 million in grants distributed statewide, funds must be used to update equipment to result in training for high-wage, high-skill and high-demand occupations.

Last year, $3 million was equally distributed statewide to purchase equipment and training tools to increase CTE programs.

There also is $500,000 for a competitive grant for existing mechatronics programs that was recently awarded by the Michigan Department of Education to the Gratiot-Isabella Regional Education Service District, Lenawee Intermediate School District, Livingston ESA, Macomb ISD, Newaygo County RESA, Oakland Schools, and St. Clair County RESA.   

Uses of last year’s grant money include:

  • Jackson County’s Career Center purchasing a 3D printer for the pre-engineering program and a manual lathe machine for the precision machining program.
  • Genesee County Intermediate School District buying equipment for the welding and marketing programs.
  • Kalamazoo RESA gaining robotic arms for students in the computerized manufacturing program and electronics and robotics program, allowing students to create program functions that rival those used in industry. 

Additional information on the 61c(7) grant is available on the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Technical Education webpage.