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Kalamazoo RESA Career and Technical Education: Thank you, voters!

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” said Kalamazoo RESA Superintendent Dave Campbell as he cited an African proverb during a campaign watch party on Tue, Nov. 5.

With a 60 percent approval margin, the Kalamazoo RESA Service Aarea voted strongly in favor of the Kalamazoo RESA Career & Technical Education (CTE) Millage proposal.

The one-mill property tax increase will fund a systemic redesign of K-12+ CTE, including a centrally located career center, costing homeowner of a home with an approximate market value of $150,000, $6.25 per month for the next 20 years.

“We’ve accomplished a great thing, but it’s really going to be about the next 2-3 years as we work to bring this to fruition,” explained Campbell. “We are going to shatter the norm. We are going to continue to work closely with our business community in developing the right levels of programming. We are going to work to make sure that we have more students going into these marketable areas.”

After several years of intensive research and collaboration with the local business and educational community, countless hours of planning, and working tirelessly to communicate the local need, Kalamazoo RESA can now officially begin moving forward with the important work which will provide more students with more career opportunities in high-demand, high-tech and high-wage fields.

“The hard work is about to begin. This has been a year and a half in the making but bringing it to reality is really where the hardest work will be,” explained Campbell. “We’re going to continue to let our values of collaboration, innovation, respect, compassion, and being trustworthy guide us - our students win when we do that.”

As the CTE redesign moves forward, Campbell explained that he is committed to maintaining the high level of collaboration that been consistent throughout the entire process. “In terms of next steps, we are going to continue to work together,” he said.

In the coming years, the KRESA CTE Millage will provide:

  • Increased equity, efficiency and quality of CTE programming, beginning in kindergarten and extending through early college.
  • More career readiness coaches exposing more students to high-demand careers.
  • A centrally located career center with several satellite campuses.
  • Efficient transportation so more students can participate.
  • State-of-the-art technology and equipment to prepare students for high-demand, high-skill and high-wage careers.
  • More instructional support staff to help students who are at-risk and those with disabilities.
  • Additional training and support for students and families, including underrepresented populations.
  • More career planning, apprenticeships and work-based learning opportunities to help students choose the careers that are right for them.
  • More students earning credentials and certificates to meet the needs of employers.
  • Enhanced partnerships with employers and colleges to help prepare students for the 21st Century economy and labor market.
  • Graduates with the skills needed to earn a good living in the Kalamazoo area, supporting both economic and community growth.
     

“This is a big victory for our young people, their families, our community and the regional economy,” beamed Campbell. “I would like to thank our generous community for your many contributions to this effort!”

Thank you, voters for this meaningful investment in the future of our youth and local community. We are eager to get to work to bring this redesign to reality. Thank you for your support.

Learn more and stay up-to-date on the progress of the Kalamazoo RESA Career & Technical Education redesign at kresaCTE.org.