Lisa Katz| Crain’s Detroit Blog

It’s no secret. Southeast Michigan’s talent pipeline is in trouble! Businesses in many industries are getting concerned that when the future arrives, they will not have the workers they need to operate effectively. This comes as no surprise to those who have recognized the trend of the aging workforce, with more than 58,000 workers reaching retirement age in Southeast Michigan each year. So what can be done?

MI Bright Future is the Southeast Michigan solution to the talent pipeline problem. With this Web-based career preparation and readiness platform, students can get help making those big decisions about what to do after high school. MI Bright Future is a pathway to guide students toward high-demand careers by giving them the tools to find their strengths, choose a career, and then connect with professionals from Southeast Michigan who can help them through the process of achieving their dreams.

By using the tools provided through MI Bright Future, students are able to connect directly with the companies that might employ them when the time comes. Students can search for and find out more about companies in their field of interest, then ask questions to find out what classes they should take, how much they can expect to make, and whom hiring managers in a particular field are searching for. Companies are able to respond directly through company message boards, or sign up to be a career coach to help students interested in a certain occupation.

MI Bright Future provides a safe, virtual space for current professionals to connect with future professionals, and can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. Through these convenient online interactions, local businesses can market in-demand and future careers directly to students, parents and educators and post various career development opportunities, from company tours and job shadowing to part-time jobs. This one-stop management system allows companies to efficiently reach hundreds of thousands of students parents, and educators and make them aware of all the great opportunities in Michigan.

Implementing MI Bright Future in schools will help to achieve the robust engagement system between employers, schools, young people and their primary influencers and supporters. The need to help young people and adults explore career options, before making big investments in education and training, is a growing priority in the state, especially as employers place greater emphasis on experience, not just credentials. In fact, a recent Brookings Institute article noted that internships were ranked as the most important factor in deciding whether to hire a recent college graduate or not.

Experiences gained through the use of a similar system in non-Michigan communities have been shown to act as an effective dropout prevention tool and to help students feel that they are more ready to make education and career decisions. Through goals around career awareness, education relevance and persistence and employability, MI Bright Future aims to solve the talent pipeline facing Southeast Michigan.

To find out more or start creating a company profile, visit the MI Bright Future website

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