Gov. Rick Snyder is following up his State of the State address on Tuesday by continuing to promote skilled trades. In the speech, Snyder highlighted skilled trades as a way to boost employment, education, and Michigan’s economy during.
The governor visited a mold and die plant in Lansing the morning after the speech to highlight programs that train skilled workers.
“They’re not jobs that go away easily,” Snyder told reporters at the event. “If you think about huge capital equipment, you need well-trained, really good people running that equipment.”
Snyder says firms like the one in Lansing are having a tough time finding enough skilled workers to run their equipment. He says he will call for increased funding for training programs in his budget proposal next month.
The governor says his emphasis on skilled trades is one reason he does not support repealing Michigan’s prevailing wage law. State and local prevailing wages guarantee workers on publicly funded construction projects get union-level compensation.
Snyder says repealing prevailing wages could make skilled trades less attractive.
“Well, it could. And that’s one of the issues is I don’t support making a change in prevailing wage.”
New Republican leaders in the state Legislature say repealing the prevailing wage is a priority this year. They say it would save money for schools and local governments.