MiMfg Magazine August 2019 - Page 6

6 MiMfg Magazine August 2019 Stephanie Beckhorn Keynote Michigan Department of Talent Conversation and Economic Development is a top priority issue for Q: Talent manufacturing. How has the Going PRO Talent Fund, with more than $100 million dedicated to talent training, helped bridge the talent gap? Has the application process changed for FY 2020? Beckhorn: The Going PRO Talent Fund provides competitive awards for training that builds talent, productivity and employment retention while increasing the quality and competitiveness of Michigan’s employers. Companies have a better chance of retaining their talent by providing them with the necessary training to perform their job and meet the needs of economic growth. In fact, Talent Fund grants have helped Michigan businesses create over 10,430 jobs and retain more than 37,000 jobs in the past five years. This program owes much of its success to the flexible and responsive nature of the funds and to our strong partnership with Michigan Works! agencies across the state who promote and implement these funds. We encourage employers to contact their local Michigan Works! agency to learn more about the Going PRO Talent Fund, grant requirements and how to apply for funding. The FY 2020 application period will run from mid-September to early October. Employers can learn more about the program, including specific dates and key contacts, at www.michigan.gov/TalentFund. Q: How will the Whitmer Administration’s policies continue the talent trend that has led to over 204,000 new manufacturing jobs since 2009? Beckhorn: Manufacturing jobs aren’t going anywhere. In fact, there’s a projected job growth rate of 16 percent for Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmer careers right here in Michigan. Those careers are part of an estimated 545,000 in-demand Professional Trades jobs that pay $54,000 a year, on average. The administration is focused on making our great state a place for opportunity where businesses thrive and Michiganders are on a path to a higher quality of life. As part of the budget recommendations, Governor Whitmer has laid the foundation to build the skilled talent businesses need by offering tuition assistance through MI Opportunity and Michigan Reconnect scholarship opportunities — providing education and training 1 1 Currently serving as acting director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development. 1 1 Works directly with federal, state and local level partners to provide the connections, expertise and innovative solutions to drive continued business growth, build vibrant communities and attract and retain key talent to fill Michigan’s vast pipeline of opportunities. opportunities to advance in these high-demand, high-skill careers, ensuring manufacturing employers have a pipeline of available talent with the necessary skills to meet demand. us about the opportunities available to Q: Tell participating employers through MAT . 2 Beckhorn: The Michigan Advanced Technician Training program, referred to as MAT², is an apprenticeship model that combines theory, practice and work to train a globally competitive workforce by partnering with colleges to offer specialized training. MAT² apprentices alternate between school and the worksite for three years, where they apply skills learned at school to real-world problems while earning an associate degree. Once they complete the program, they commit to working for the employer for two years. The program offers employers an additional option for addressing skills gaps by growing their own talent, and it helps by reducing recruitment and retention costs, building employee loyalty and understanding, providing on-the-job training and addressing immediate and future talent pipeline needs. challenges do you see still remaining for Q: What Michigan in the areas of talent and economic development? What are some possible solutions? Beckhorn: We still have a perception problem, far too many individuals think skilled jobs are “dark, dirty and dangerous” and are unwilling to pursue these careers that earn 45 percent more than other occupations. The Going PRO in Michigan campaign aims to debunk those perceptions and encourage students and jobseekers to consider a rewarding career in Professional Trades. We need to reach students earlier — during middle school and even elementary school – so they can explore these career options. We also need to work with parents, teachers and school counselors to make sure they know the value of these careers and the certificates and credentials that can land them a high-paying job with little to no debt after high school. 6