Sen. Marty Knollenberg
Sen. Marty Knollenberg

LANSING, Mich. — A package of bills aimed at updating and improving guidelines for skilled trade professions was recently signed into law by Gov. Snyder.

“The purpose of the Skilled Trades Regulation Act is to update the relevant laws and create one uniform code,” said state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, who sponsored part of the 10-bill package. “Creating one set of guidelines not only eliminates the confusion of trying to follow rules scattered across several state statutes, but will also ensure the highest standards for enforcement and efficiency across the board.”

Senate Bills 963-972, now Public Acts 407-416 of 2016, combine more than 30 years’ worth of statutes to create the Skilled Trades Regulation Act (STRA) in Michigan, which was designed to remedy several inconsistencies within the laws governing skilled labor industries.

These industries were previously governed by what were considered by many to be ambiguous regulations that have been pieced together over the past three decades. These statutes lack modern language with regard to how they are to be applied, complaint processes and how penalties are to be enforced.

“Not only is this piecemeal approach inefficient, but it is burdensome to those wishing to obtain licensure for a job and employers looking to hire additional staff as well,” Knollenberg said. “Our goal is to ensure that the new act reflect the safest, most efficient standards in each respective industry.”

The act also addresses the issue of individuals who are licensed across multiple trades. Under previous state law, obtaining licensure for more than one trade was tedious due to the several varying statutes and processes involved. The STRA seeks to improve this by providing a single avenue for licensure and renewal for those who are licensed in several professions.

“For decades, Michigan’s economy has been led by jobs in manufacturing and other skilled trades. However, we are now seeing severely limited growth in these fields because job creators simply cannot find workers with the necessary technical skills,” Knollenberg said. “These reforms encourage our current and upcoming generations to seek education, training and experience within the skilled trades and ensure that applicants face minimal barriers obtaining work in their field of choice.”

The following senators are sponsors of the legislative package:

  • Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth (SBs 963, 966, 970)
  • Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy (SB 967)
  • Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford (SB 969)
  • Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton (SB 972)
  • Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City (SBs 964, 965, 971)
  • Dale Zorn, R-Ida (SB 968)