#nerdUp 2016: Governor Snyder’s day one visit to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
August 16, 2016
By Josh Paciorek
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a place like no other, and each year, it’s one of Governor Rick Snyder’s favorite visits. This week, he will be traveling more than 300 miles across the state’s U.P. stopping in different communities to meet the people who call the U.P. home.
We’ll provide daily recaps of the Governor’s U.P. visit, and you can follow along on social media using the hashtag #nerdUp.
Monday, August 15
Great Lakes Boat Building School
Governor Snyder has emphasized the importance of building a highly-skilled workforce that’s ready for the careers of the 21st century. As Governor, he has highlighted skilled trades of all kinds, and the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, Michigan is an excellent example of a different kind of skilled trades training center.
Founded in 2005, the Great Lakes Boat Building School offers a two-year Career Boat Building Program. It is intended to give students a broad course of study in the methods and materials requested to prepare them for employment in today’s modern boat building shops. The school had a graduate placement rate of 100 percent in 2015.
Students of the Great Lakes Boat Building School have worked on a whaleboat for the famed Charles W. Morgan whaling boat in Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and a Cornish Pilot Gig for the U.S.S. Constitution. These projects gave the school the honor of being the only organization in the nation to have built boats for the two American National Historic Landmark vessels.
The Governor toured the Great Lakes Boat Building School, meeting students and instructors while looking at different projects.
Les Cheneaux Culinary School
One of the Governor’s favorite hobbies is cooking. And he received a crash course in the culinary arts during his visit to Les Cheneaux Culinary School in Hessel, Michigan.
His tour highlighted another unique skilled trade. This cooking school takes an innovative approach to culinary arts, focusing exclusively on Michigan foods and local farmers.
A small group of local residents was encouraged by the success of the Great Lakes Boat Building School, so, in 2011, they sought to create a unique vocation experience — this one focused on culinary education.
In 2014, the school opened its doors with a class of eight students, and after graduation, the class had a 100 percent placement rate.
Newberry Riding Tide Program
Supporting the skilled trades is all about helping to strengthen Michigan’s evolving economy. So is the state’s innovative Rising Tide Program.
The program is designed to provide local communities with the tools they need to make their economic visions for the future a reality.
Newberry, Michigan was selected as one of the ten pilot communities in the program. On Monday, community leaders shared their experiences within the program with the Governor and discussed the opportunities they see for Newberry in the future.
While challenges remain in the community — including blight, a high rate of prescription drug abuse, and low number of trained workers — the Governor expressed confidence that the state and local community can work together toward positive solutions.
Check back on Wednesday, August 17 for a recap of day two of the Governor’s visit to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Follow along on social media using the hashtag #nerdUp.
Find a link to each day’s recap below: