Michigan Gov. Granholm Signs Bill for Green Collar Job Training (sort of)
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has signed two bills to expand job training opportunities in high-demand fields for Michigan workers. The bills allow the state’s community colleges to tailor job training to meet the needs of employers in their regions.
The jobs produced by the new training programs will not necessarily “green collar,” because they will vary depending on local market needs. But the emphasis Gov. Granholm has been putting on building the state’s clean energy manufacturing sector, for example, is creating new jobs in the state’s budding wind turbine manufacturing industry that require specific types of knowledge, skills, and abilities.
“We must do everything we can to help our citizens get the training they need for good-paying jobs in this challenging global economy,” Granholm said. “These bills are another part of our plan to ensure that we have a strong workforce that can compete and win in the 21st century.”
The two-bill package will allow community colleges to enter into agreements with employers to provide training for new jobs. The costs of the job training will be paid to the community colleges from income taxes withheld by employers on the new jobs created.
Considering that the Big Three automakers are in Big Trouble and Americans’ love affair with cars may be on the outs, a little economic retooling in the country’s midsection may be as prudent now as it ever has been. It can reasonably be argued that a bailout of the automakers may be necessary to steady the backbone of the American manufacturing sector, but looking beyond the automobile industry and adapting to the opportunities provided by a new energy economy will be a critical component of a sustainable restructuring if we are to revitalize the U.S. manufacturing sector.