Going PRO Campaign Visits Traverse City

Michigan’s Going PRO campaign made a stop in northern Michigan on Monday to encourage people to consider careers in the skilled trades.

The campaign launched last month to fill what’s expected to be a major statewide talent shortage in the trades.

They’re hoping to get more people, including high school students to look at these careers.

The state of Michigan needs skilled trades workers. The state estimates they’ll need to fill 545,000 jobs by the year 2026, and they’re using the Going PRO campaign to get started.

“This is really a campaign to help influence students, parents other individuals in their lives to really showcase the importance of professional trades in our economy,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Acting Director of Talent and Economic Development.

The campaign encourages high school students to start exploring these careers before they leave high school. That’s just what Nathan Keech from Traverse City did and is already employed as a CNC operator at Clark Manufacturing.

“As a second year student it was really awesome because it didn’t even feel like school. I would just go in and have a good time, just doing what I really love and it was a lot of fun actually. A lot of it’s really satisfying. Just the way the chips fly off the parts and the satisfaction after you’ve done it that you’ve made this out of a raw chunk of metal, it’s something that can be used,” said Keech.

The Going PRO campaign is also connecting people with job openings. They say many of these jobs come with an average salary of $54,000 a year.

“Our employers are counting on it. They need to fill these jobs to stay in Michigan, to grow in Michigan, to expand in Michigan,” said Beckhorn.

A message echoed by northern Michigan companies.

“Unfortunately there are very few people that have the training we need in injection molding. It’s really the future of our industry, and our company to have skilled workers,” said Maree Mulvoy of M R Products.

For more information on Going PRO, click here.