Governor Rick Snyder says Michigan and the rest of the country lost sight of the value of vocational training as young people were encouraged to get four-year college degrees.
The governor spoke Thursday at a business conference in Grand Rapids.
Governor Snyder was speaking to the West Michigan Policy Forum.
He says too many students have been pushed toward getting four-year college degrees when vocational education or community college might have made more sense.
“And so we sorta messed up over the past 20 or 30 years, 40 years," he says. "We’ve lost the focus on how important those roles are.”
The governor says the result is thousands of jobs in skilled trades go unfilled while people are looking for work.
Snyder says he intends to convene a summit of educators and employers early next year to get a better sense of where the demand for jobs is strongest – and use that information to help re-design Michigan’s education system. The governor has also called for stronger integration of pre-school through post-high school education.