Lt. Governor wants more training programs for skilled workers

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley was in Benton Harbor Tuesday morning to meet with members of the southwest Michigan business community. He wants to push for an increase in training programs for skilled workers to help fill jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Dave Lagrow owns and operates Maximum Mold in Benton Harbor. Today he employs 24 skilled workers at his shop, but he says it wasn't long ago when his business looked bleak.


"We had a recession in 2009 that put us back at that time 46 percent in sales. We dropped down to a shut down where we had nobody working for two weeks and then we gradually brought people back all year long," said Lagrow.


Five years and a few aggressive investments later, Maximum Mold has bounced back and is looking to grow.


"We're not having problems finding people right now. Our biggest thing is training. We have Lake Michigan College we work with training and we also offer an apprenticeship program," said Lagrow.

They have plenty of people, but not enough have the skills to work in the manufacturing industry.


"These are critically important jobs and good careers, high paying jobs that employers are having a hard time finding the right people with the right skills to fill them," said Liutenant Governor Brian Calley of Michigan.

More than 70,000 jobs are ready to be filled statewide.

Calley says the solution starts with our youth.

"It is so important that we give kids the right information that they need, and their parents also, to make good decisions about where to land a career," said Calley.


The solution also includes providing training for the work force.


"This is about connecting people with the right resources and the right education in order to fill those jobs," said Calley.


For Lagrow, the new initiative is a step in the right direction.


"For me it was very important to hear what our local leaders are doing to help promote my jobs that I'm offering to people. That's the most important thing I got out of today's meeting," said Lagrow.

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