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Gov. Snyder Shakes up State Government to Prepare Michigan Workers for Tomorrow’s Jobs

michigan workersMichigan’s economy has made notable strides in recent years toward retaining and attracting business and creating more high-quality jobs. On Dec. 18, Gov. Rick Snyder announced an executive order aimed at keeping that forward momentum alive. Snyder said that the newly created Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development will organize the state’s job training and economic development efforts under one unified department.  

This new organizational structure brings to bear more state resources to train Michigan workers for in-demand jobs – in the skilled trades and in fields like IT and advanced manufacturing – that employers are having trouble filling.  

What does the reorganization look like?

  • The new Department of Talent and Economic Development will house a newly created state agency, the Talent Investment Agency, both of which are scheduled to begin operations in March.
  • The Talent Investment Agency will absorb the Michigan Strategic Fund – the governmental entity in charge of incentivizing business development – as well as the Michigan Economic Development Association, the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority, the Workforce Development Agency, the Governor's Talent Investment Board, and the Unemployment Insurance Agency.

Snyder has been vocal in his belief that talent attraction, retention and training is the currency of the state’s future economic growth. As far back as two years ago, he voiced concern about the gap between what employers need and what members of Michigan’s workforce have historically been equipped to do. These changes in governmental structure reflect a key point in Snyder's re-election campaign platform to align job preparedness with job availability. To illustrate, the state has a relatively high unemployment rate of 6.7 percent (albeit the lowest for the state since April 2006), while the state’s Michigan Talent Connect website lists nearly 82,000 open jobs.

Joining other workforce development training programs already in place to support the governor’s goals is the new Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program. Through the program, Michigan is making available $50 million to community colleges for the purchase of equipment required to deliver educational programs in high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand occupations. The Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) program is another state program, developed in conjunction with global technology leaders to train postsecondary students in globally competitive technology skills.   

The Detroit region has the highest concentration of tech jobs in the Midwest, and research, IT, advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs are increasingly available throughout the state in cities like Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, East Lansing and Ann Arbor. We will keep a close eye on the impact of the state’s commitment to build a workforce that rises to the demands and opportunities of these well-paying and rewarding jobs.

Please contact a Foster Swift attorney to discuss how changes in law, government, and industry impact the way your business prepares for the future. 

Categories: Employment

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John brings a unique perspective to Foster Swift with his practical experience as an entrepreneur, business owner, and manager.  He focuses in the areas of business, tax, intellectual property and entertainment.

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