Job growth in Michigan continues to be a major point of concern for state officials. Governor Rick Snyder is expected to announce plans to kick off a two-day event that will connect residents to employment opportunities. The summit will involve many of Michigan’s business, academic and government leaders.
Slated to speak on Monday, Mar. 18, the governor will likely – the anticipated event during the opening session of an economic summit at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Planned speakers also include Business Leaders for Michigan President and Chief Executive Doug Rothwell and Michigan Economic Development Corp. chief Michael Finney.
Snyder has expressed he wants to summit to focus on helping residents find meaningful job opportunities. Protesters see the event differently. Planning to rally outside during the governor’s speech, they view it as a plot to put corporate interests ahead of the needs of ordinary residents. Many cite recent cuts in education spending, taxing pensions and right-to-work legislation to limit the power of unions as acts they believe only further this initiative.
Summit supporters express they feel it will be an opportunity to better match available talent with available jobs. As a state with one of the lowest rates for residents with an education beyond high school, it has become increasingly important to prepare prospective workers for the jobs they seek. That includes older workers who’ve had to restructure their careers in the midst of a recession, and younger workers who might not be trained in areas that provide the most opportunities. In the future, most available jobs will require a higher level of education than what most have.
Increasing the amount of skills training available might be a viable solution to getting more residents employed, and filling the jobs that are available. Helping people refocus their skill set to appeal to employers prepares them with the tools needed to compete in the current economy. Will the anticipated summit meet such goals?
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