Adrian Daily Telegram: Senator tours county business, education venues

ADRIAN — U.S. Sen. Gary Peters got a firsthand look Monday at Lenawee County’s career preparation through education and a small Adrian business with international sales.

Peters, D-Bloomfield Hills, stopped in Jonesville and Adrian to discuss his efforts to support Michigan small businesses and encourage state economic growth. The Lenawee Intermediate School District Tech Center was Peters’ first stop in Adrian, where he toured the manufacturing and welding classrooms. The second half of Peters’ Adrian tour took him to Maggard Razors LLC, which caters to a straight and wet shave customer base around the world.

Peters said the LISD Tech Center is “one of the finest in the state” doing work to ensure people are prepared for career.

“They need to be very proud of what they’re doing here at the LISD and the Tech Center, he said. “Students need to take a look at manufacturing as an opportunity for them, and right now, there are jobs waiting to be filled.”

One of the education initiatives Peters said he is working on for next year is expanding dual enrollment; By offering dual enrollment opportunities for students like those offered at the LISD and Jackson College, he said, more can graduate high school with college credits or an associate’s degree.

“College education is expensive and we find too many students graduate and have a lot of debt,” he said. “We also need to increase completion rates. It’s one thing to have debt, it’s even worse when you have debt and you don’t complete your degree program.”

Kyle Griffith, LISD assistant superintendent of instruction and general services, said that with the emphasis at the local level between school programs and colleges, “we are very fortunate in Lenawee County have support from taxpayers to meet demands of business and industry partners.”

With that cooperative spirit and the expansion of training programs, Griffith said, the LISD is helping to meet the growing demand for trained employees.

At Maggard Razors, owners Brad and Casie Maggard gave Peters a tour of their combination store and warehouse, through which most of their clients around the world place online orders to meet the growing demands of the straight razor industry.

Peters said he appreciates what small business owners like the Maggards have done for communities like Adrian.

“This is the example of a small business person who has an incredible craft, took something he started in his basement and turned it into a successful business,” Peters said. “It’s also about powering the Internet while also bringing people to downtown. And, when they’re here, they check out a restaurant and buy gas, further contributing to the economic development of downtown.”

By:  Dan Cherry
Source: Adrian Daily Telegram