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KRESA Says Millage Would Help Students Get Well-Paying Jobs

students gather around a medical dummy on a floor in a classroom
Ben Margot
AP Images

Too many Kalamazoo-area high school students are missing out on  training that could prepare them for well-compensated work. That’s the message from the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency, which is seeking a 1-mill, 20-year tax this November to support career and technical education.

Campbell says excellent jobs await skilled workers in fields like health care and construction. But right now, KRESA’s programs are scattered around the district, which means long bus rides for students.

“That’s an inefficient use of time,” Campbell said.

He said that's made the programs less attractive to would-be technical education students.

“We did focus groups in nearly every high school in the county, and the kids’ number one issue came out was the amount of time on the bus to get to these programs,” Campbell added.

The millage would pay for a centrally located training facility. Campbell says doing most instruction there would slash student travel time – and boost enrollment. It’s possible local businesses will help pay for the center, though a firm commitment has not been announced.

Besides the operating costs for the technical education program, the millage would pay for career coaching, including for younger children, with an eye toward piquing their interest in the skilled trades. It would also buy new equipment.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. She covered those topics and more in eight years of reporting for the Station, before becoming news director in 2022.
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