Based on previous interviews I have conducted with various individuals inside the professions of teaching, nursing, social work and policing; a picture of various labor shortages and strains upon the system comes into clear focus. To place those shortages into perspective, I performed academic literature reviews to assemble relevant data in order to frame this discussion. According to the US Census Bureau's July 1, 2021 population estimate, approximately 10,050,811 people live in Michigan. MI School Data reports that 1,443,456 students, including 194,514 with disabilities are enrolled in school for the 2021-2022 school year.
To contrast this population information, MI School Data also lists a workforce of 100,635 teachers, along with 13,971 listed as substitutes and aides for the same year. When you consider that the average reported by Autism Alliance of Michigan and the CDC is 1 in 68 children in the US are reported to have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it's easy to surmise that the total potential population of ASD children in Michigan (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) is close to 21,227. This likely under-representative figure reveals a larger population of special needs students than employed and qualified aides. It's important to note that ASD students require extra educational support to succeed and benefit from one on one aide support.
In the year 2018, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan reported that Michigan had 137,541 licensed nurses and the MDHHS reported that the state's Children’s Services Agency employed 3,816 staff including 3,336 field staff and 480 central office staff. A year later, an online publication called Social Work Guide reported that 24,000 social workers employed in the state in 2019. Finally, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy reported in 2019 that there are 588 law enforcement agencies, employing approximately 17,000 officers in the state of Michigan in 2019.
For the past 40+ years, Michigan's fate has been one where talented Michiganders have moved away to pursue lives and dreams elsewhere. Other states have attracted talent from Michigan through scholarships, sign on bonuses and programs to cover relocation expenses. Currently Michigan is languishing through talent shortages in several professional careers, that support the public and provide crucial services. This is our opportunity in Michigan to rise to the challenge and work to solve the state talent drain, revitalize training and retention programs, improve public professional salaries, boost funding to public universities, repeal the state pension tax and repeal taxes on retirement income.
In order to solve the talent drain and reverse the shortage on various professions, we must first create an environment where those proficient and willing, want to fully dedicate themselves to these professions. Then, we must reduce the barrier to entry into these professions to a level that is both sensible and attainable for those desiring to enter the professions. Lastly, we must create an environment where the freshly trained and certified professionals will want to remain a part of our communities. In several stories that will proceed this introduction, it will become evident that there are shortages across the professions of policing, nursing, child welfare work, social work, and teaching. Each of these professions have their own challenges in meeting societal goals and maintaining services, however, there are many common challenges that exist between all of them that we can solve through bold comprehensive policy reforms.
This fall, we have the opportunity to affect real progress and as such, I have placed my hat in the ring to run to become a Bernie Sanders Delegate, representing Michigan's 4th District at the Democratic National Convention. It would be my honor to serve the 4th District's Democratic members as a selected delegate and I look forward to honoring the trust placed in me.
Below you will see my official candidacy statement, which will be emailed according to MDP District Election plans
We truckers carry necessities across multiple state lines, through multiple municipalities, and interact with many individuals along the way.
I believe it is imperative as a nation, we protect drivers by addressing the likelihood a CMV operator becomes stricken with this virus.
In doing so, we ensure the rest of our society continues to have access to the goods required in our communities, while the nation undergoes multiple quarantines.
Although, I was unable to attend this conservation forum due to work obligations, I was given the questions by the host agency and below are my responses. Thank you to the Mid Michigan United Sportsman's Alliance for hosting this forum and giving me this opportunity.
There comes a time, in every election, when a controversy or controversial endorsement is given. Today is such a day. As I stated earlier today, it is my intent to decline this endorsement and at 14:02 CST, I tendered my letter to the organization in question to decline their endorsement. I further requested all likenesses, logos, banners, quotes, data about me and my campaign be removed from their databases, social media pages/accounts and sister pages. This notice also serves notice, their organization does not have expressed written, or implied consent in publishing my likeness, logos, banners, quotes, or video of me.
Attached inside this blog post, I have made available a signed copy of my letter, refusing the endorsement.
The Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ) is pleased to inform you that you have received the Association's endorsement for your candidacy for Michigan State Senate District 33.
I humbly and gratefully accept your endorsement. I look forward to working for the people of the 33rd and Michigan, in ensuring every person has the equitable opportunity to exercise their right to a trial by jury. Thank you for this opportunity.
Today was the Tri County Picnic, in Beaverton Michigan. I was on hand as a candidate for Clare County. The day was full of events, with many great speakers present. When it was my turn to speak, I delivered a bold announcement. That when I am elected, I will cosponsor Abdul's Michicare proposal. Below, you can find the contents of my speech.
In the last few years, under the current governorship and a recovering Michigan economy, education has been slipping. Even as our state increased funding, state standardized test scores show a gross drop in performance across the entire school age population of our state. Under current circumstances, a rational person can only conclude: something in education is broken and it's time to figure out where and how to fix it.
As such, I support the following proposals: All Year School, Temporary Moratorium on Standardized Testing, Ending Homework, Feeless Breakfast & Lunch, & Reformulating School Funding.
Mark Bignell is an alumni of Montcalm Community College and Grand Valley State University. He is a former Democratic Nominee for Michigan State Senate and current candidate.