Career Readiness, Retention Key to Michigan’s Long Term Success


Michigan could retain at least 75,000 of the 250,000 young people projected to leave the state by 2023 by focusing on career awareness activities, says a report released from the Workforce Intelligence Network of Southeast Michigan.

By implementing career readiness programs for students and their families as early as middle school, Michigan could retain at least 30 percent of the 250,000 residents, ages 10-30, expected to leave the state by 2023, says Lisa Katz, WIN’s executive director. According to the report, the added employees translates into roughly $160 million in additional income tax revenue and more than $200 million in additional sales tax revenue for the state.

“Failing to act could prove devastating to the Michigan economy,” Katz says. “The career readiness revolution has begun and we are at the forefront of providing long-term sustainability for our economy and workforce.”

According to The Career Readiness Gap, employers in the southeast Michigan region face an extensive number of pending workforce retirements (58,000 baby boomers will reach retirement each year over the next 15 years in the region), combined with a lack of career-ready applicants.

For instance, there were nearly 47,000 online job postings seeking engineering and design workers with bachelor degrees between January 2013 and May 2014, although only 5,000 such degrees were awarded in Michigan during that time.

Katz says the findings illustrate the need for a greater alignment between what is being taught in schools and what qualifications employers require.