Job training changes coming

Several bills that passed during December’s legislative session in Lansing concern job training and licensing in Michigan.

House Bill 5697 extends the sunset on a portion of the Michigan New Jobs Training Program (NJTP) that allows community colleges to issue bonds to fund training programs for new jobs. The initial bill was enacted in 2008, and allows community colleges to enter into agreements with local businesses, where the community college will train a new employee for the business and be repaid the cost of the training through income taxes withheld by the business from that employee’s paycheck. Instead of going to the state, the taxes go to the community college to repay the cost of tuition.

The employee has to be filling a job that is newly created in the state.

This program was extended to December 2023 in 2015, HB 5697 extends the ability for community colleges to sell bonds to pay the initial costs of training.

According to the legislative analysis, there have been 197 agreements under the NJTP, resulting in more than $30 million in income taxes being diverted from the state treasury to pay for training programs. Another $44.1 million is set to be diverted under the agreements already in place.

Most of the initial training has not been funded through the bond process, but by other funding methods devised by the individual colleges, according to legislative analysis.

Senate Bill 751 allows cosmetology students to be employed for shampoo services provided certain conditions are met.

Previously, students who have completed at least 350 hours of instruction could perform shampoos at a salon that is connected to a cosmetology school, but they could not be compensated for those services.

The new law would allow a student with at least 350 hours of instruction to be employed at a salon to perform strictly shampoo services, as long as the student is currently enrolled in cosmetology school and is under supervision of a licensed cosmetologist.

According to the legislative analysis, supporters of the bill said it is another way for students to get valuable real-world experience, like an internship in other professions.