“Hands-on experience is valuable in every profession and we should encourage any high school student who actively expands their own professional skills,” said Frederick, of Owosso. “As much as education relies on the work done between students and teachers, we have to acknowledge it also goes beyond the classroom.”
Frederick approved the two bills recently signed into law as chair of the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee, noting applied real-world experience will enhance classroom education as well as career development. Among the examples he cited were connecting a student interested in computer coding with a website developer or having a car dealership sponsor an assistant for automotive repairs.
The new laws will work with Michigan Department of Education standards to allow work-based paid or volunteer internships in grades 9-12, allowing students working four to 10 hours to receive credit for graduation. It also safeguards funding for school districts, allowing participants to qualify as a full-time students while off-campus during the internship or work-study.
“This is about opening doors for our students as a part of Michigan’s future,” Frederick said. “Matching these skilled young people with local businesses helps both, giving the chance for career exploration while also possibly starting a professional career. If we’re going to address the exploding skilled trades demand and the expanding career field opportunities we have in Michigan, this can be a key part of the solution.”
House Bills 4106 and 5676 are now Public Acts 184 and 185 of 2018.