Governor Snyder releases his plans for a better workforce, talent retention and attraction as well as better connection to Michigan Jobs. He also unveiled the new Michigan Talent website.
In his speech Governor Snyder said “Tomorrow’s opportunities cannot be realized with yesterday’s skills,” Snyder said. “It’s time to develop the next generation of talent. Today’s young employees will have multiple careers in their lifetimes. The skills they attain must be marketable and transferrable. We need to align the aptitudes and career passions of job seekers with the current and evolving needs of employers.”
The governor’s special message also cites the need to:
Do a better job of connecting Michigan veterans with career opportunities. Despite their skills and transferrable technical expertise, there was an unemployment rate of 29.4 percent among Michigan’s Afghanistan and Iraq veterans in 2010. The national average was 11.5 percent. The governor is directing the Workforce Development Agency, Michigan Works! and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to create a seamless delivery system for veteran benefits and employment services. The governor also is challenging more businesses to reach out to veterans. He is asking the Detroit Regional Chamber to partner with the state to promote the benefits of hiring veterans.
Focus on producing talent in areas where the state has a high occupational demand. State support for post-secondary education should concentrate on areas that enhance Michigan’s economic development strategy and encourage students to stay in the state. A recent Center for Michigan report concludes that the state graduated 20 percent too few computer and math professionals, 14 percent too few health care professionals and 3 percent too few engineers in 2009-10.
Address the critical need for computer programming talent. The MEDC is creating a program called Shifting Code that generates a supply of high-demand programmers while giving small businesses the technology assistance they need. The initiative launches in January 2012 with pilots in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Kalamazoo.
Bring greater flexibility to the nation’s immigration laws so foreign investment and job growth is not impaired. For example, Snyder will petition the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to renew, modify and make permanent the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center program, which is set to expire in September 2012. The program gives international investors the chance to live here by investing in Michigan’s economy and creating jobs. He also is directing the MEDC and Michigan Department of Civil Rights to implement a Cultural Ambassadors program that leverages Michigan’s natural, technological and human resources to integrate new talent into our communities.
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