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Kalamazoo RESA Career & Technical Education (CTE) Millage Proposal

Did you know that out of every ten jobs, one requires a master's degree or more, two require a bachelor's degree and seven require a professional/skilled trades 1-year certificate or 2-year degree? The nature of work has dramatically changed. In 1960, 60% of available jobs were unskilled. High school students could transfer directly into the workforce without additional training, into well-paying jobs. Today, nearly 60% of all jobs require skilled training. Employers are seeking qualified workers with portable skills such as creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking. No longer does the high school diploma guarantee career success.

Michigan needs more skilled workers for current and future high-demand, high-tech and high-wage careers. The competition for talent is fierce and we listen as employers express concern over a drought of skilled labor for open positions. At the same time, too many young people are leaving school without the skills that employers desire, and without a plan or hope for the future. With an aging workforce, decline in birth rates and the retirement of the Baby Boomers, it's clear that Michigan faces a challenging labor pipeline problem. Together, we can change the course with a systemic redesign of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Kalamazoo County.

The Kalamazoo RESA Career and Technical Education Millage Proposal is the next step. On November 5, Kalamazoo County voters will decide on a one-mill, 20-year Career and Technical Education Proposal to fund this work. If approved by voters, the funding will provide:

  • More career coaches, exploration and planning to expose students to career options start as early as elementary school
  • Efficient transportation so more students can participate and spend less time on busses and more time learning
  • More students earning credentials/certificates aligned to meet employer needs
  • A centrally located career center with smaller satellite locations where students have access to counseling, comprehensive training, instructional support and state-of-the-art equipment
  • Expanded opportunities for work-based learning, apprenticeships and career planning to assist students with career decision-making
  • Graduates with the skills needed to earn a good living, right here in the Kalamazoo area, supporting both economic and community growth

Learn more about the Kalamazoo RESA Career and Technical Education (CTE) Millage Proposal online at

Career and Technical Education Millage