Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) and U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) made a stop at Lansing Community College Wednesday afternoon for a roundtable discussion about the importance of expanding apprenticeships and skills training to fill good-paying jobs.
The two lawmakers toured LCC’s West Campus – which is home to the college’s Technical Careers and Community Education and Workforce Development divisions.
Throughout the visit, Peters, a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and Slotkin, a former senior Pentagon official and Army wife and step-mom highlighted bipartisan legislation they are leading to expand opportunities for veterans to register for apprenticeships.
“As veterans transition into civilian life, it’s a scary thing. This is a way to smooth that transition and they have tremendous skills. The DOD offers incredible training for the men and women who serve. They already have the skills, how do we get those skills transferred into the civilian world as quickly as possible,” Sen. Peters said.
“We are really at the forefront of the whole country, so this is really like an area where Michigan can shine,” Congresswoman Slotkin said.
A bill, which passed the Senate unanimously, would require that veterans are included in the Department of Labor (DOL) standards for registered apprenticeship programs since there is a significant discrepancy between the number of apprenticeships registered by DOL and the amount of programs veterans can apply their GI Bill benefits toward.
In Michigan, there are currently more than 1,000 active registered apprenticeships, but less than hundred approved by the VA. Peters introduced the bill in the Senate, and Slotkin has led introduction of companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“We have to create as many opportunities as possible, but I think we’re also looking at this broader not just with veterans but everybody should have these opportunities, and the federal government needs to do more and invest in these programs,” Sen. Peters said.