As 2018 comes to a close, the WIN Executive Director, Michele Economou Ureste, prepared a summary of the organization’s important regional initiatives, strategic planning, projects and partnerships that made 2018 a year to remember.

Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) Board of Directors

Greg Pitoniak, Southeast Michigan Community Alliance I Robert Matthews, Mott Community College l Bill Sleight, Michigan Works! Southeast I John Bierbusse, Macomb St. Clair Michigan Works! I Jennifer Llewellyn, Oakland County Michigan Works! I Tina Matz, Jackson College I Barry Kinsey, Monroe County Community College I Dr. Michelle Mueller, Washtenaw Community College I Doug Smith, Oakland Community College I Dr. Patricia Chatman, Henry Ford College I Nicole Sherard-Freeman, Detroit Employment Solutions I Dr. James Robinson, Wayne County Community College District I Tamara Kenny, St. Clair County Community College I Dave Corba, Macomb Community College I Amy Jones, Schoolcraft College I Jody Kerbyson, GST Michigan Works!

Special thanks to Amy Jones from Schoolcraft College and John Bierbusse from Macomb St. Clair Michigan Works! for their exemplary service as the 2018 WIN Board of Director Co-Chairs

Special recognition for Dr. James Robinson from Wayne County Community College District and Nicole Sherard-Freeman from the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation for their new appointment as the 2019 WIN Board of Director Co-Chairs

WIN Staff

Special thanks to the WIN staff for an impressive year of growth in creating and expanding regional workforce programs and initiatives:

Tina Adam, Rana Al-Igoe, Kristi Ayers, Colleen Azimi, Amanda Bauerschmidt, Carrie Bonofiglio, Danielle Bowman, Scott Corsi, Jordan Cull, Tricia Czachowski, Miriam Enciso, Janene Erne, Karista Gallick, Lisa Gordon, Sarah Gregory, Tim Johnston, Kristie Kabacinski, Josh Koning, Trevor Leatzow, Kinsey Mantay, Megan McCoy, Imad Mourad, Laura Noffke, David Palmer, Melissa Sheldon, John Sullivan, Karley Thurston, Michelle Wein

2018 In Review, Program Key Highlights and 2019 Outlook

In many ways, 2018 could be characterized as a year of change for WIN. The Board of Directors established a Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) and appointed Dr. Michelle Mueller from Washtenaw Community College and Jennifer Llewellyn from Oakland County Michigan Works! as the SPC Co-Chairs which led to the development of the first official 2018 Strategic Plan.

The Board of Directors also updated bylaws and approved a new five-year Memorandum of Understanding of their WIN membership through 2022. The first annual report for 2017 was published. A new Director of Communications position was created as a jointly-funded position to support the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA) and WIN. The organizations selected Tim Johnston for the position. Tim’s experience includes significant marketing and communications for non-profit organizations and higher education institutions.

A number of competitive bids and requests for proposal were sought to effectively procure for key services which led to new contracts with Emsi for real-time employer demand information and Emberly Digital for web development, among others.

Since the majority of WIN programs are in the middle of multi-year grants and staff is committed to meeting the performance outcomes of these programs WIN invested several months to serve in a regional convener role by conducting a grant meeting conference call series from August to November, assisting with the preparation and submission of grant applications for a $12 million U.S. Department of Labor Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector Strategies and $5.5 million State of Michigan Marshall Plan for Talent. This WIN regional convening effort has the potential to bring $17.5 million of workforce training and education funds to the region.

U.S. Department of Labor Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector Strategies

Henry Ford College expressed an early interest to serve as the lead applicant for the Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector Strategies grant application, and the remaining educational and workforce partners relied upon the opinion of industry to determine the industry sector focus, and whether the aggressive outcome of 5,000 new apprentices could be met. WIN conducted an “Apprenticeship Needs Survey” which resulted in 144 employer respondents, with 115, or 80%, specifying that their work best aligns with the Advanced Manufacturing sector. Employers verified the anticipated convergence of manufacturing, engineering, and information technologies by documenting a strong need for these cross-technology skills in manufacturing operations. Four thousand six hundred eighteen (4,618) apprenticeship openings in 208 unduplicated occupations were projected over the next four years, in Michigan alone, the initial deployment region. Expanding beyond Michigan, the Midwest Apprenticeship Partners (MAP) project will increase the number of right- skilled workers and right-sized programs in Advanced Manufacturing by accelerating apprenticeship expansion in the sector and promoting apprenticeship expansion across the Midwest region.

The initial deployment partners include: American Center for Mobility (ACM), Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), Center for Regional Economic Competition (CREC), Building Initiative, Henry Ford College, Jackson Community College, Michigan Works! Southeast, Oakland Community College, Oakland County Michigan Works!, Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA), Schoolcraft College, Washtenaw Community College, Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN), United Technological Solutions, and 22 employers, which provided commitment letters, including the Ford UAW and U.S. Steel Gary Works and U.S. Steel Great Lakes.

State of Michigan Marshall Plan for Talent

The Marshall Plan for Talent application was initiated by Henry Ford College and convening work was conducted to develop phase 1, 2 and 3 applications for 11 school districts whereby nine Downriver Career Technical Consortium (DCTC) school districts have a focus on mechatronics and robotics and Dearborn and Taylor School Districts commit to implementing Ford Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL) which transforms the middle and high school learning model into a project-based, industry-based and competency-based experience. The talent consortium, Technology Skills Development and Career Promise Partners, is comprised of the following partners: Dearborn Public School District, Henry Ford College, Dearborn High School, Fordson High School, Edsel Ford High School, Taylor School District, Taylor High School, Airport High School, Flat Rock High School, Carlson High School, Grosse Ile High School, Huron High School, Riverview High School, Southgate High School, Trenton High School and Woodhaven High School Downriver Career Technical Consortium (DCTC), Detroit Parent Network, Ford Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL), Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA), Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN), Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency (Wayne RESA), Taylor School District, Zaman International, and Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS).

The mission of the Technology Skills Development and Career Promise Partners is to build upon the collective learning experiences with competency-based education and develop secondary education student’s skills in advanced manufacturing linked to industry 4.0., and other industry sectors forecasted with high-growth and high-demand occupational outlooks. Additionally, the partnership will prepare students for third-party industry credentialing assessments or post-secondary education which validates the knowledge and ability to perform industry-related and job-specific tasks.

Today’s workforce experiences the effects of economic evolution, which requires strategies for life-long learning, digital badging, and rapid short-term worker training.

Department of Defense

The Department of Defense Office (DOD) of Economic Adjustment Phase I grant for community planning assistance and economic diversification has been operating since August 1, 2015 and will conclude January 31, 2019. It has a total federal award of $5,969,339, non-federal matches totaling $784,000 and total project costs of $6,753,339. Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board is the grantee, with sub awards going to WIN for project management and data tasks and the Michigan Defense Center for supply chain mapping, economic impact analysis and bid targeting system enhancements. Tricia Czachowski serves as the grants senior project manager and Danielle Bowman as the project manager.

2018 DOD OEA Grant Phase 1 accomplishments:

  • Successfully requested a grant amendment to extend Phase 1 amendment. Approved by DOD OEA and contract modification completed with MSCWDB. Moves sustainability and industry investment model work in-house and amends overall grant budget to reallocate unused dollars to remaining projects and support.
  • The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) conducted a site visit on behalf of DoD OEA June 20-22 to learn more about the impact of this grant.
  • Closed out Michigan Automated System Collaborative subtask, contracted to Automation Alley.
  • Completed the connected products demonstration project (NextEnergy), and the final report for Regional Connected and Automated Transit System plan (CAR).
  • Completed the Connected Detroit Innovates project- bringing together businesses working in Internet of Things space. This is being sustained past the grant by CGS Advisors.
  • Completed the MEDC Michigan Defense Center Bid targeting system, a software system that allows the Michigan Defense Center to work with employers interested in defense contract work and calculates their potential rate of success for the contracting work to make them more likely to get the contract.
  • Sustainability and Industry Investment Model Development: A plan to sustain MAGMA and Opportunity Detroit Tech, along with several other DOD OEA projects has been developed and is in final review stages, with WIN staff attending a number of sustainability conferences in November and December.
  • Continuation of defense industry supply chain mapping through contractual support with University of Michigan Economic Growth Institute.
  • All performance and interim reports submitted on time and accepted by DOD OEA Program Manager without amendment.
  • Hosted a visit from Anita Bullock, DOD OEA Program Manager on February 22.
  • Attended and presented at DOD OEA Grantees meeting in Washington D.C.

The Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment Phase II grant for community planning assistance and economic diversification started August 1, 2017, and will conclude July 31, 2019, with a total federal award of $2,008,692, non-federal matches totaling $225,000 and total project costs of $2,233,692. Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board is the grantee, with sub-awards going to WIN for project management and sector strategies and the Michigan Defense Center for Protect & Grow Sector Strategies. Tricia Czachowski and Danielle Bowman serve on this grant.

2018 DOD OEA Grant Phase 2 accomplishments:

  • Continuation of MAGMA and Opportunity Detroit Tech, with additional efforts to draw in defense businesses to expand the conversation of talent shortages and solutions.
  • Procured and awarded communications and outreach contract work to Tanner Friedman for MAGMA and ODT activities.
  • Procurement and award of a new web development contract to Emberly Digital. Current work includes a refresh of the MAGMA and ODT websites and the addition of e-commerce capabilities for MAGMA.
  • Protect and Grow Industry Cluster: Procurement occurred for this MEDC Michigan Defense Center program and current awards under the DOD OEA grant include Macomb County Planning and Economic Development and Detroit Aerotropolis.


Michigan Alliance for Greater Mobility Advancement (MAGMA)

MAGMA, a collaborative formed in 2009 between the State of Michigan, the Big 3, Tier 1 suppliers and Michigan post-secondary institutions at the time our state was climbing out of the Great Recession, and the Obama administration had just implemented dramatic increases in CAFE (fuel economy) standards.

WIN assumed the convening and facilitation of MAGMA at the request of the State in 2013. The board has expanded in size and mission over that time, shifting from an exclusive focus on “green” technologies, to the larger mobility talent space.

The governing board invested much of 2017 granting access to WIN researchers to their organizations. Extensive survey and interview work were conducted to determine key short-term training objectives for incumbent workers, and the desired outcomes to be gained from training.

In 2018, MAGMA launched a training catalog of courses available to industry workers. William Davidson Foundation provided support to MAGMA and the mobility movement for several years beginning in 2018.

In 2019, MAGMA will launch a more formal membership structure to drive sustainability for the collaboration. MAGMA/WIN are also driving collaborations and better alignment with MichAuto, the American Center for Mobility, Automation Alley, and other important industry stakeholders. New industry surveys will launch in 2019 to refresh the existing course catalog, and to drive alignment between MAGMA members and collaborators.

MAGMA Advisory Council meetings serve as a melting pot for industry, education, workforce, and other actors interested in industry talent, training and the impacts of emerging technologies. Over 500 individuals have attended advisory council meetings since 2014, from over 200 organizations. The advisory council meets quarterly, and features high-level decision makers from industry partners, and also opportunities to conduct research and focus groups. Past topics include talent related discussions focused on autonomous vehicles, cyber security, infrastructure, talent development, apprenticeships and internships. For more information visit

Special thanks to our MAGMA Governing Board Members from:

  • BorgWarner (Co-Chair)
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors
  • GKN Driveline
  • Nissan
  • Toyota
  • Robert Bosch, LLC (Co-Chair)
  • Macomb Community College
  • Michigan Technological University
  • University of Detroit Mercy
  • University of Michigan
  • Wayne State University
  • Center for Automotive Research (CAR)
  • SAE International
  • Southeast Michigan Community Alliance Michigan Works!
  • State of Michigan, Talent Investment Agency (TIA)
  • Convened and facilitated by WIN


Opportunity Detroit Tech (ODT) and Apprenti

WIN has convened employers with demand for IT talent since 2012. By 2017, it was clear employers had little interest in convening without actionable workforce solutions. WIN analysis of job posting data shows tremendous demand, with tens of thousands of IT job postings and less than 6,000 graduates from all levels of post-secondary IT programs.

Aligning with US DOL apprenticeship investments, in 2018 WIN became an affiliate of Apprenti which is a program designed by the Washington Technology Industry Association with funding from a DOL national demonstration grant. WIN is actively working with employers to introduce and launch the program in the state. Apprentices are recruited and screened on interest and aptitude, not prior education and work history. Apprenti is a complete system designed to shift the supply curve of talent into high growth, high wage IT occupations. In 2018, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation supported Apprenti with a $1.5 million grant, which covers almost 100% of the training costs for apprentices. Current Apprenti hiring partners include OneMagnify and a large regional health care system. Both are establishing systems to incorporate apprenticeship into their hiring priorities.

MI Bright Future

In the first quarter of 2018 WIN received a $1 million Michigan Department of Education grant to expand MI Bright Future implementation, and in the final quarter successfully bid for a Talent and Economic Development (TED) multi-year contract to support this premier talent development tool in the state of Michigan.  MI Bright Future assists companies with increasing their future workforce by connecting them directly with local students. As Michigan transforms its economy to meet 21st century needs, it has become more important than ever to remove barriers between the state’s educational system and professional industries. The needs of industry change rapidly, and current educational practices struggle to keep up with fast-changing trends and adequately prepare students for the modern Michigan workforce. In 2013, The Workforce Intelligence Network responded to this difficulty by convening regional educational partners, workforce development boards, and employers to develop and implement MI Bright Future. Similar observations lead the State of Michigan to adopt the Marshall Plan for Talent in 2018, which included support to expand the scope and reach of MI Bright Future throughout the state.

This web-based system addresses talent needs through a free and easy-to-use online system connecting employers directly with their future workforce of students. Students across Michigan access the system annually to complete state-mandated Educational Development Plans, which allows them to easily locate and explore participating employers through company profiles, career- and company-focused discussion boards, and more than 20 work-based learning activities, such as guest speaking, job shadowing, and internships. Direct interactions with real-life professionals help students learn about industries from those who know it best and discover job opportunities they never knew existed, allowing employers to develop the informed and skilled workforce they need to be successful.

In 2018, MI Bright Future expanded into the Great Lakes Bay, Capital, and Southwest Michigan/Grand Rapids areas, expanding its coverage to 13 counties throughout Michigan. MI Bright Future currently engages over 608 companies and 1,031 Career Coaches and has over 4,140 work-based learning activities available for students to explore.

MI Bright Future would not be possible without the help and support of our wonderful partners, including local Michigan Works! Agencies, community-driven talent consortiums, community colleges, and school districts in Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Kent, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Saginaw, St. Clair, and Wayne counties.

Advance Michigan Catalyst

Advance Michigan Catalyst is a $6 million federal America’s Promise grant which aims to provide robotics and automated related training in the region from 2017-2020. To date, we have enrolled over 350 participants under this grant, mostly unemployed and underemployed individuals. In addition to classroom training, services also include individual assessments, case management, supportive services, and employment placement. Of the almost 200 individuals that have completed training, over 150 have obtained employment. We are hailed as a grantee with a number of best practices under this project, and many of our staff and partners have participated in national webinars. Special thanks to Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board and Oakland County Michigan Works! staff for presenting.

Advance Michigan Center for Apprenticeship Innovation (AMCAI)

Advance Michigan Center for Apprenticeship Innovation (AMCAI) is supported by a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI). This $4 million grant aims to expand apprenticeships and covers the period of 2015 to 2020. AMCAI covers 30 counties in Southeast Michigan and is comprised of four Southeast Michigan community colleges—Henry Ford College, Jackson College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College, and St. Clair County Community College — along with many local and regional corporate and workforce and economic development partners. Currently, AMCAI has registered a total of almost 350 apprentices to date and recent outreach efforts have resulted in connections with approximately 70 new apprenticeship programs.

The Registered Apprenticeship in a Day (RAPiD) concept was conceived by the AMCAI team and the Michigan Educator’s Apprenticeship and Training Association (MEATA) in late 2017 and was piloted at SEMCA in Spring 2018 with an apprenticeship standards workshop and breakout activities. RAPiD brings all of the subject matter experts from the local MWA, community college, DOL, and WIN who work with employers to finalize their apprenticeship programs. This event shortens a process that may take months into a single day workshop that culminates with the DOL Office of Apprenticeship State Director signing completed standards. Numerous RAPiD events have occurred at partner institutions since then and AMCAI intends to continue to offer RAPiD events to interested partners across the region, particularly at board member organizations, vastly speeding up the completion of an apprenticeship program and boosting AMCAI’s outcomes. RAPiD is recognized as a national best practice, along with the Return on Investment Calculator.

Data and Research

The WIN data and research team had a year of change in 2018. Numerous competitive procurements resulted in new contracts with Emsi for real-time employer demand information. Melissa Sheldon and Michelle Wein co-managed the department and converted Intern, Karley Thurston, into a full-time Research Assistant. In 2019, Karley will begin her new role as a full-time research analyst with the department as a result of her incredible work during 2018. As a result of his exemplary work and dedication to WIN’s mission, Scott Corsi was also promoted to a Senior Research Analyst and will take over additional responsibilities in 2019. Highlights from the data and research team’s accomplishments in 2018 are as follows:

  • Labor Market Reports: Q1, Q2, and Q3 2018 labor market reports were released using new data sources and a new report template. The reports can be found on the WIN website:
  • Learning Network Meetings: The data and research team hosted several successfully executed and well-attended learning network meetings throughout the year. In addition to the meetings they hosted, they also partnered with WIN’s employer engagement team and David Shevrin to present at the last Business Services Network meeting of the year. The team is excited to offer new topics and training opportunities to the WIN community in 2019 beginning with an in-depth overview of public labor market information sources for both WIN staff members and WIN board member organization staff members in early 2019. The goal of the training will be to help participants become more familiar using and presenting labor market information.
  • Custom Data Requests: Thus far in 2018, nearly 200 data requests have been completed by the data and research team.
  • McGregor Fund Project: In 2017, the McGregor Fund expanded its grantmaking to include support for pathways to economic mobility and employment for individuals, households and families living in poverty. The Fund had a lot to explore in this new grantmaking priority about how public funding, provider networks, provider insights, and best practice intersect in Detroit for those living in poverty who seek employment. In July of 2017, the Fund commissioned WIN to research these various facets of the workforce system, focusing on the experience of a job seeker living in poverty and facing multiple barriers to employment.

The research, finalized in Q4 2018, was made possible through collaborative efforts between WIN and workforce-related partners in the City of Detroit and relevant State of Michigan departments. At the time when WIN conducted this research, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) and the City of Detroit Mayor’s Workforce Development Board were working with Corporation for Skilled Workforce (CSW) to prepare interview and survey materials related to the workforce system redesign work in Detroit. WIN and the McGregor Fund are appreciative of the level of cooperation that occurred between DESC, the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board, and CSW to align interview and survey efforts. Many thanks are extended to Michelle Rafferty of DESC and both Jeff Donofrio and Chioke Mose-Telesford of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board for continuous communication and collaboration throughout the duration of WIN’s work. The public-facing final report is expected to be released by the McGregor Fund in early 2019.

  • Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) reports: LIFT continues to be a strong partner and supporter of the WIN data and research team. Quarterly workforce reports for Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee were prepared and delivered by the team throughout 2018. As LIFT moves into their sixth year of existence, the WIN team is working to formally extend the partnership through 2019.   LIFT quarterly workforce reports can be found here:
  • William Davidson Foundation Project: The WIN data and research team received a grant from the William Davidson Foundation to conduct a social network analysis of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in southeast Michigan. The project is now complete, and a final report was sent to the New Economy Initiative (NEI) in October. There were numerous partners involved with this study such as Source Link, Mass Economics, Economic Growth Institute of the University of Michigan, and more.

Other notable projects completed in 2018 by the data and research team include local, state, and national conference speaking engagements, completion of phase two of the apprenticeship ROI calculator, completion of WIOA regional plan mid-cycle modifications on behalf of all six Michigan Works! agency board partners, a robotics and automation white paper on behalf of Oakland and Mott Community Colleges, the connected and automated vehicle training guide for region 9 on behalf of Michigan Works! Southeast, updated commuting pattern reports, several completed data requests from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and the tech talent study on behalf of Ann Arbor SPARK.

WIN would like to extend special thanks to the McGregor Fund, LIFT, the William Davidson Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Ann Arbor SPARK, Michigan Works! Southeast, Oakland Community College, Mott Community College, and many more for making the studies completed in 2018 possible.

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