Michigan Governor Highlights Shortage Of Skilled Workers At Business Policy Conference

Career College Central summary:

  • Michigan can gain a competitive edge over other states by filling a skills gap that leads to good jobs going unfilled because of a lack of qualified candidates, Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday.
  • "The jurisdiction, the place that does this the best over the next few years will have a strategic economic advantage," he told a crowd during his keynote speech at the Mackinac Policy Conference, the Detroit Regional Chamber's annual meeting for more than 1,500 business, political and civil leaders. "Companies will be coming to that location because there is such a national problem with this issue. When you talk about issues and you talk about the future, I put this at the top of the list."
  • Snyder said, as he has before, that there are at least 70,000 unfilled positions listed on a state-sponsored jobs website. That's despite a seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate of 7.4 last month, higher than the national average of 6.3 percent.
  • "That's an understated number," he said of the jobs total, adding that employers have told him they do not bother posting five or 10 more of the same kind of job because they cannot fill one.
  • Snyder said he has held economic and education summits to encourage collaboration between businesses and colleges or technical institutes, but added that is "still not good enough."
  • University degrees in science, technology, engineering and math are important, but Michigan has failed to underscore the significance of skilled trades and career technical programs, he said.

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