Peters Announces Saginaw Intermediate School District President as Guest for 2020 State of the Union

Richard Burmeister, Jr., Has Focused on Career Technical Education in Saginaw-Area

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced that Richard “Rick” Burmeister, Jr., President of the Saginaw Intermediate School District (ISD) board will be his guest at President Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, February 4. Peters will highlight his efforts to close the skills gap by expanding career and technical education (CTE) and apprenticeship opportunities for students to get good-paying, in-demand jobs. The Saginaw ISD has also made CTE a cornerstone of its programming available to students across Saginaw County.

“I’ve heard from small businesses and families across the state about the need to better prepare students for the jobs of today and the future. Not all students want to pursue a college degree, and it’s critical we ensure students can access opportunities for developing the skillsets needed to land good-paying jobs,” said Senator Peters. “Under Rick’s leadership, the Saginaw Intermediate School District has strengthened its CTE program and built community support – all of which go a long way toward connecting students with potential employers and career pathways. I’m proud to have Rick as my guest, and expanding CTE and apprenticeship opportunities will continue to be one of my top focuses in the Senate.”

“I’m honored to attend the State of the Union Address as Senator Peters’ guest,” said Richard Burmeister, Jr., President of the Saginaw Intermediate School District Board. “We’re seeing in Saginaw County how there’s a major need for CTE programming. By expanding CTE options, we’re giving employers in the area a better opportunity to fill jobs locally, while preparing students for available jobs and enabling them to develop the skills needed for good-paying jobs and successful careers. Senator Peters has been a leader on this issue and I thank him for all he’s done to support students in Saginaw County and across our state.”

Burmeister, of Freeland, was first elected to the Saginaw ISD board in 1992 after serving on the Freeland Community School District Board. The Saginaw ISD serves 12 local school district across Saginaw County. The Saginaw ISD offers CTE programs in careers ranging from health care, criminal justice, information technology to automotive collision and welding. Most recently, the Saginaw ISD was able to pass a millage with the support of local voters to expand their programming into new fields.

Peters has championed and led efforts in the Senate to close the skills gap. Provisions Peters authored to expand school counselor training and awareness of career and technical education opportunities were signed into law by President Trump in 2018. Most recently, the Senate unanimously passed Peters’ bipartisan legislation in December to expand apprenticeship opportunities for veterans. The Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act would increase veterans’ access to financial assistance they can use in connection with an apprenticeship program. In Michigan alone, only a few hundred of the 1,000 registered apprenticeships listed as active by the Department of Labor (DOL) have been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).