Gov. Rick Snyder: Skilled trades provide job skills for the future

Wayne County visit highlights skilled trades opportunities in Michigan

May 10, 2016

FLAT ROCK – To showcase the opportunities for skilled trades careers in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder today met with students and instructors at Flat Rock Community High School to talk about the importance of career and technical education programs available.

Snyder toured the high school campus to see the innovative projects students are working on in welding, health occupation/pharmacy tech and engineering/CAD drafting programs. Following the tour, he joined Steve Arwood, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Chelsea Turner, a graduate of the pharmacy tech program, to talk with students about how the in-demand skills they are learning now can lead to successful, well-paying careers.

“There is no shortage of opportunities in skilled trades,” Snyder said. “Employers are actively seeking talent now and will continue to demand skilled talent in the future. These are respected, high-paying careers in growing and innovative industries, which is why it’s so important to educate students about the opportunities available to them.”

Flat Rock was the fifth stop on a statewide tour spearheaded by Snyder, along with the MEDC and the Michigan Talent Investment Agency to connect with students, parents and educators and create more awareness about skilled trade careers.

Today's skilled trades are jobs that are growing and evolving in industries such as health care (lab technicians, dental hygienists), maintenance and repair, public safety, manufacturing (machine operators, welders), construction, carpentry, plumbing and electrical work. Skilled trade jobs typically require education beyond high school, along with on-the-job training, but not a four-year degree.

Attracting future talent is crucial as employers will continue to actively seek skilled talent to fill the projected 6,700 skilled trade job openings each year through 2022. 

 “Availability of a skilled workforce is a driving factor when it comes to business attraction and expansion,” Arwood said. “We are working to build Michigan into the place where businesses can find the talent they need, and where job seekers can find opportunity.”

In May 2015, a partnership was announced between the Michigan Economic Development CorporationMichigan’s Talent Investment AgencyMike Rowe(TV host and founder of mikeroweWORKS), and Tom Daldin, host of Under the Radar Michigan to create videos that address common misconceptions and perceptions about skilled trades. These videos can be viewed on the MEDC YouTube channel.

For more information about skilled trades in Michigan, visit