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KRESA Moving Forward With Career Training Overhaul

The photo shows students in white lab coats in a laboratory.
Ben Margot
/
AP Photo

The Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency is still expanding technical training for students. But first the district needs to understand the changing labor market, says Superintendent Dave Campbell.

Voters approved a millage last November to overhaul KRESA’s vocational programs. Now the agency is studying how the pandemic is reshaping the economy, Campbell told WMUK.

“What are the short-term, I’m talking two, three, five years out, what are the jobs looking like for young people coming out of high school? And then the longer term, the five, 10, 20-year job projections,” he said.

“We want to make sure we offer the right programming,” he added. “And that’s tricky now. We’re just starting a pandemic recession. The economy is in all likelihood going to go through some fundamental shifts and changes here.”

Campbell said KRESA is pressing forward with an effort to teach middle schoolers about career and technical education. The agency is hiring instructors who will teach children, remotely or in person, about opportunities in things like the skilled trades.

“A lot of times kids, particularly if they’re raised in poverty whether it’s urban poverty or rural poverty, they really can’t see what opportunities lay in front of them,” Campbell said.

Voters approved a renewal millage for KRESA on Tuesday.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.
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