Governor Rick Snyder returned to West Michigan this morning to issue a “call to action” on his Marshall Plan for Talent in Michigan. Snyder paid a visit to a manufacturing plant at Gentex Corporation in Zeeland, touring the facility and meeting with other West Michigan business leaders, educators and employees to discuss implementation of his plan. The investments, partnerships, and dramatic education and talent preparation revolution needed to prepare people for high-demand, high-wage career openings in the state was launched in Detroit last month.
Snyder told those assembled this morning, “This is a call to action. Michigan is excelling at job creation, personal income growth and more, but we can do so much better.” He says, “The Marshall Plan for Talent is about recognizing that the old models need to evolve to keep up with where the world is going. To do that, we need to tear down silos so the business and education communities can better communicate. By working hand-in-hand to help more Michiganders find good-paying jobs in high-demand career fields, we can keep Michigan on the positive path toward our future.”
The plan calls for investing $100 million in innovative programs to revolutionize Michigan’s talent and education system and will support schools that want to transform education through programs like competency-based certification, world-class curricula and classroom equipment, scholarships and stipends, and support for career navigators and teachers. The funding will complement the more than $225 million in funding dedicated to ongoing talent development efforts in Michigan.
The Governor was joined in his visit by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley who suggests, “By transforming the way we prepare our talent for in-demand jobs, we will definitely develop the most skilled workforce in the nation.” Calley adds, “By thinking more creatively about how we invest, develop and attract talent, we will be able to meet the demand for workers in these high-demand fields that will continue to fuel our economy.”
Snyder and Calley toured Gentex’s cutting-edge research and development manufacturing facility in Zeeland. They then joined Gentex President and CEO Steve Downing, The Right Place’s Vice President of Talent Cindy Brown, Ottawa ISD Superintendent Peter Haines, and Muskegon Community College President Dale Nesbary for a panel discussion on West Michigan’s talent needs and how the Marshall Plan will help fill the demand for talented workers in key industries.
Downing told the group, “Gentex is honored to host Governor Snyder and a cross-section of education and business leaders for a panel discussion on the Marshall Plan for Talent,” adding, “We are excited about the Governor’s passion and leadership for developing the technical talent that Michigan needs and we believe the Marshall Plan for Talent will help improve the technical capability of young people to fill the roles that are available at Gentex today and in the future.”
Michigan will have more than 811,000 career openings to fill through 2024 in fields that are facing a critical talent shortage. As the state considers talent preparation changes for these fields, shortages are likely to be most severe in increasingly high-skill, high-tech fields such as in information technology and computer science, manufacturing, healthcare, and other professional trades careers.
Snyder told the team at Gentex, “Let’s partner to create the world’s premier education and training system, transform our system to a competency-based model of any pace, any place, any time, any way, and revolutionize education so learning is a lifelong achievement of knowledge and competencies.”
Roger Curtis, director of the Department of Talent and Economic Development, and State Superintendent Brian Whiston have worked with the Governor to encourage the business community to connect more closely with educators in K-12 districts, community colleges and universities. Employers also need to adapt to changes in the supply of talent by changing their requirements for hiring, recognizing many in-demand skills can be acquired through certificate programs and two-year degrees.
The Marshall Plan for Talent builds on the work of Snyder’s 21st Century Education Commission, the recommendations of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance and the Michigan Department of Education’s Top 10 in 10 initiative.
Additional details about the Marshall Plan are available at www.michigan.gov/marshallplan.