Posted on 1/31/2018

Promoting Skilled Trades Training and Opportunities

Rep. Klint Kesto

In the United States and in Michigan, the middle class is open to anyone who works hard. The middle class was built in this country by the city of Detroit, where men and women worked in industry without a degree from a university. These men and women were able to buy homes and cars and provide college funds for their own children. This was, and still is, the American Dream and it was all accomplished without a college degree. 

Young adults today deserve the same opportunities which can be found within skilled trades industries. As technology and industry grow together and become more intertwined, skilled trades are becoming more important and relevant. Skilled trades offer an excellent, feasible alternative to earning a two-or four-year college degree. 

In Lansing, my colleagues and I work hard to remove burdensome regulations, taxes, and bureaucracy to allow Michigan’s economy to grow and Michigan businesses to create jobs. Since the lost decade, we have been successful in creating a climate that has allowed for the creation of 450,000 private sector jobs. Many of these jobs are in skilled trades. With this growing industry, we must make available training programs to prepare young people to enter this growing workforce. That is why we are working with public schools and private business throughout the county to create a partnership between the two entities to encourage the creation of a farm system which will allow students to enter the workforce directly. Last year’s budget as recommended from the House put an emphasis on skilled trades training for our students, and I, along with my colleagues, supported legislation this year that would expand graduation requirements to include options in skilled trades opportunities and computer coding. 

The legislature has made great progress in allowing these industries to grow and creating connections between potential employers and students. There are already programs being implemented that promote skilled trades training in Oakland County. I had the honor of attending the signing day for students participating in the Pathways to Apprenticeship Program. Oakland Schools, Construction Craft Laborers LiUNA 1076 and the Michigan Laborers’ Training Apprenticeship Institute have established this collaborative partnership which will provide for a summer apprenticeship training opportunity for Juniors and Seniors in the Oakland Schools Construction Technology program, and even allow the students to earn certification. This is the type of partnership we should be supporting throughout our county and state in order to provide the best options to our students. Further, with such training, we will help keep a talented work pool in Michigan, contributing to our state’s economy.

Like many of you, I want to make sure that the opportunities for my children and my growing family are not limited in any way. These programs will provide an opportunity for our young people to find jobs and live a desirable quality of life, and help keep the American dream alive for everyone for decades to come. 

About the Author

Rep. Klint Kesto | R–39th Representative District

Klint attended Brother Rice High School and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan. Shortly after graduation, he began his endeavor to become a lawyer at Wayne State University Law School, graduating in 2006. In the years to come, he worked for Wayne County as an assistant prosecuting attorney and then for the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Justice. He has also been an active member of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce, the Chaldean Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Oakland County Republican Party 400.

Klint is the first Chaldean elected to the Michigan Legislature. He began his first term in 2013, after winning the November 2012 election. Over the past five years, Klint has been a member of several House Committees, where he has been dedicated to improving the life of the constituents in his district and of the people of Michigan. In addition to serving on committees, he was appointed Chair of the House Committee on Judiciary during the 2015-2016 term and this January was appointed Chairman of the House Committee on Law & Justice for the 2017-2018 term. He currently serves as Co-Chair for the C.A.R.E.S Task Force as well.

Klint currently resides in West Bloomfield, Michigan with his wife, Delena. Klint and Delena are the proud parents of their daughter, Ava and son, Klint.


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