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Shelby Township — U.S. Senate hopeful Terri Lynn Land called Thursday for the expansion of federal grants and loans to help vocational schools and professional training programs give workers better skills to prepare them for jobs in Michigan.

Land, who made a stop at LaFata Cabinets as part of her “Michigan First” bus tour, said it is important for the state to “have the best, most advanced workforce possible” and that providing grants and loans used by students who attend four-year colleges would help other skilled laborers.

The Republican former Michigan secretary of state said she is visiting businesses like LaFata Cabinets to understand what makes them successful “and what they are doing right and talk to them about how the federal government affects what they do everyday.”

“Whether it’s the Affordable Care Act or the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) or regulations, we want them to be successful,” Land said. “What could make it even better for them and how can government get out of their way and make them even more successful?”

Land faces U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, in the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit.

Giovanni LaFata, owner of the business that makes custom cabinets and has 140 employees, said Land's candidacy appeals to him.

“One of the things that’s been lacking the last few years is incentives for businesses to grow, to invest in technology and invest in people,” LaFata said. “There’s not that many programs out there to help a business grow. We pretty much have to do everything on our own.”

The tour and idea to expand the grants program are part of her plan help bolster job growth in the state by helping to invest in worker training programs.

Land also visited Avalon International Breads in Detroit and Active Home Medical Supply in Lapeer as part of her campaign's effort to talk jobs and the economy.

lfleming@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2620

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