Revolutionize Michigan ’ s talent development systems to meet the skills needed to empower the largest sector of Michigan ’ s economy — manufacturing — to thrive
The state that wins the talent development battle wins the economic war . Michigan faces increasing competition with other states and nations to create economic growth . An inability to create and provide talent undermines our ability to attract jobs and manufacturing investment . We risk losing ground to other states and nations who grow and keep talent .
In short , manufacturers need people with the right skills and know how to make things . More skilled workers are needed as manufacturing discovers , develops , and implements new advanced technologies . With baby boomers retiring in greater numbers , large talent gaps lead to a loss of manufacturing competitiveness and a drop in economic growth .
A revolution in Michigan ’ s education system , ranging from K-12 through community colleges and universities is needed fill the talent shortage . We acknowledge that four-year degrees are a critical component of a strong economy . However , the current system does not meet manufacturers ’ needs . Our education system must provide students the opportunity to gain skills , in addition to degrees , to access strong and productive futures .
We support ongoing efforts to bolster community colleges to deliver an essential skill set . Programs such as Michigan Reconnect , the Going PRO Talent Fund , and Futures for Frontliners are a foundation to build upon . Providing on-the-job training programs and apprenticeships evolves workers ’ skills and enhances company growth strategies . With an improved K-12 education system , high school graduates will be ready to step into the jobs manufacturers want to give them .
Recruiting and hiring candidates with the right skillsets to match the position has become one the biggest challenges for Michigan manufacturers . The state needs a greater pipeline for talent development to help the manufacturing sector to grow and employ more people .
— David K . Schmidt , President & COO , Alro Steel Corporation , Jackson