Talent grant good news for Northeast Michigan

News staff writer Julie Goldberg reported recently that several school districts in Northeast Michigan have collectively reeived $1.9 million in Marshall Plan for Talent grant money from the state.

The funds will go toward new and expanded curricula, certification programs based on competency, professional equipment, a competency-based education model, and career navigators in Alpena Public Schools, Alcona Community Schools, Hillman Community Schools, Atlanta Community Schools, and the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District. Statewide, $15 million was awarded.

That is good news for Northeast Michigan.

The money is meant to pair educators and employers to prepare students for the jobs that will be available tomorrow right here in our communities. It will allow kids to learn how to use machines that are actually in use in area plants right now.

APS Superintendent John VanWagoner hit the nail on the head: “Our kids will be able to have a leg up, to walk in and say, ‘I’ve worked that machine before, I understand how to program it, I understand how that works,’ and really be able to earn a living wage and be able to help our economy throughout our part of Northeast Michigan.”

Congratulations to the school district leaders, and to the students who will benefit from those initiatives.