Lawmakers attend education luncheon in Hancock

HANCOCK — Earlier today, the Copper Country Intermediate School District hosted a legislative luncheon with local lawmakers to talk about education and funding.

The event was attended by many local school adminstrators and the discussion was moderated by former CCISD superintendent Dennis Harbour, who was recognized beforehand for his work with the district.

State Representative Scott Dianda and State Senator Tom Casperson attended the forum and talked about the importance of vocational training in the U.P.

“We got a lot of new industries that are looking to come to Upper Michigan,” Dianda said. “These people need skilled work forces. No matter what meetings I go to with future companies that are moving into Michigan, first thing they say is “we have to have the most skilled labor force out there” and that’s what we’re going to be working on and developing.”

“We need vocational training and we need kids to understand that there’s opportunities all the way around,” Casperson said. “Those are careers as well. So it’s kind of educational situation we’re faced with and that is our young people need to know there are opportunities there and they can make a good living doing it and they can be proud of the skills that they can learn by doing those things.”

Also on hand was Casperson’s opponent, Chris Germain, who talked about the colleges and universities who have less money to work with and how it impacts their students.

“Every time we cut higher education, that cost is passed on to those students. It’s passed on to the parents if they’re helping them with college costs, so it’s really become problem some with funding all the way around, not only at the K-12, but at the higher education level,” Germain said.

Dianda’s opponent, Bob Michaels, was unable to attend the event. A question-and-answer session with the audience also took place.