Private investment helps cell signals

This fall lawmakers should approve Senate Bill 637.

It is critical legislation that would pave the way for billions of dollars in private investment in advanced wireless technology here in Michigan. The benefits of this private sector investment would lead to improved cellphone signals, faster connectivity speeds, and allow for innovative technology like autonomous vehicles. Additionally, this investment in Michigan’s technology infrastructure would lead to jobs and a stronger economy. In fact, both Republicans and Democrats are working together to support the bill because of the powerful positive impact it will have on our state and our economy.

I was puzzled to read a column from Dennis Kolar (“Lame duck bills could hurt Mich. roads,” Nov. 5), managing director of the road commission for Oakland County, who opposes the legislation. While the legislation would allow, but set reasonable limits on, his road commission to tax telecom companies, he apparently wants to tax them even more. Kolar even insinuates that not getting this additional revenue will somehow hamstring Oakland Country’s efforts to fix Michigan’s roads.

The Michigan Chamber has worked cooperatively with local governments in securing billions of dollars in new transportation infrastructure investment to fix the roads. A backdoor tax on telecom providers has never and should never be a part of that effort.

Rich Studley, president & CEO

Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Helping Michigan students succeed

Experts tell us that more than 50 million job openings will be created by 2020. Many of these jobs will require a four-year college degree. But many of these jobs — 30 percent of them to be exact— won’t require a four-year degree.

These jobs are what the experts are calling “new collar.” New collar positions like cybersecurity analysts, computer support specialists, and web engineers are already in high demand. I believe that Michigan students who’ve had hands-on experience in these fields of interest and others should be first in line for these kinds of opportunities.

Through career readiness programs, high school students are getting the extra support they need to make them stand out in the workforce. For example, expert teachers — most of whom have experience in the fields they teach — often provide instruction and first-hand experience designed to help students find the path that works best for them.

However, career readiness programs aren’t just great resources for students—they’re great for employers, too. New collar and middle skill jobs make up 51 percent of the job market.

This is the largest share of jobs in the state and “the largest share of future job openings,” according to the National Skills Coalition. Employers are eagerly looking for workers to fill these spots and career readiness programs are designed to help bridge this gap.

Kendall Schroeder, head of school

Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy

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