Talent is never a bad investment

In a recent edition of The News, reporter Julie Goldberg detailed how Alpena Public Schools, Alcona Community Schools, Hillman Community Schools, Atlanta Community Schools, and the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District have partnered to seek a $2 million Marshall Plan grant from the state.

If their application is successful, the money would help the school districts buy equipment and hire staff to help their students prepare for and seek careers in skilled trades and other fields.

Kudos to them, both for seeking the grant and working together to do so. And we wish them well in their effort –the State Board of Education is expected to make its decision on Tuesday.

Talent is never a bad investment.

The state says online that its Marshall Plan is an effort to prepare kids for some 800,000 jobs and $49 billion in potential earnings by 2024.

And it says its model of helping schools develop job-training programs has had success. The state points to Consumers Energy, which recently found only 50 qualified job candidates from a pool of 4,000 applicants for 100 open positions.

After partnering with Alpena and Lansing community colleges on a new training program, however, it has hired 100 people over two years.

If the local schools win their share of the state money, it can only be good for our community and –more importantly –our kids’ futures.