An Overview of the Career Pathways Alliance

Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Snyder directed the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the Department of Talent and Economic Development (TED) to partner to address the state’s talent shortage, creating the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance. This partnership was developed to craft recommendations for how schools can best prepare students for future careers and fill high demand careers through options in education.

The Alliance gathered input from labor groups, businesses, community colleges, universities and the education community, and released a number of initiatives to address the state’s talent gap. This included creating flexibility in the Michigan Merit Curriculum, practical professional trade experience and the expansion of CTE. Several of these initiatives require legislation to be achieved, therefore a package of bills was introduced to expand skilled trades education.

Rep. Ben Frederick (R-Owosso) is the primary sponsor of the bill package and the chair of the House Workforce and Talent Development committee. MASA has been working with Chairman Frederick and other bill sponsors to address several concerns we have with the legislation, and we expect action some time after Thanksgiving.

HB 5139 (Rep. Daire Rendon, R-Lake City) would require MDE to create a K-12 model program that establishes career learning and learning themes for each grade level, and requires districts to incorporate that instruction at each grade level. The program would define learning targets and incorporate career development education within core instruction.

HB 5140 (Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine) would require districts and ISDs to allow proprietary schools, community colleges and skilled trade employers access to high school pupil directory information for the purposes of recruitment and career opportunities. Parents would have to provide written consent for their child’s information to be shared, and would be allowed to opt out at any time.

HB 5141 (Rep. Bronna Kahle, R-Clinton) would allow schools to hire non-certified teachers who hold a license or certification in a trade for career and technical programs. In order to teach, the individual would be required to have a high school diploma or high school equivalency; achieved expertise in the area they wish to teach as determined by the board of a school district, ISD or board of directors of a PSA; and have either a professional license in the subject matter or have had previously held a license or certificate in good standing within two years before their employment.

HB 5142 (Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland) modifies the requirement to employ certified teachers to accommodate the changes in HB 5141. Currently, MDE is required to deduct from a district’s or ISD’s state aid allocation the amount paid to educators not legally certified or licensed.

HB 5145 (Rep. Julie Alexander, R-Hanover) would require MDE to promulgate rules to allow an individual to use time invested with local employers and technology centers toward the renewal of a teaching certificate, professional teaching certificate, advanced professional education certificate or school administrator’s certificate in the same practice as state continuing education and professional development.

As mentioned above, MASA continues to have concerns with this package of legislation and will work to ensure that any final bills are not overly burdensome, seek to truly improve options and protect the profession of education moving forward. Please feel free to share your concerns with us by emailing Peter Spadafore at