Bidding farewell to 2023 prompts reflection on the remarkable journey and accomplishments of the SEMCA Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN). Significant milestones, successful collaborations, and impactful initiatives have left a lasting imprint on the workforce landscape throughout the year. Let’s take a closer look at the key highlights:

1. Apprenticeship Advocacy and Expansion

The U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Building America grant enabled WIN and its Board of Director organizations to expand apprenticeship in the greater Southeast Michigan region. This year kicked off with the establishment of the first Michigan Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) chapter, known as the Mitten Chapter, in partnership with Ann Arbor Spark, Washtenaw  Community College (WCC), and Toyota Research Institute of North America. In August, WCC hosted a special “Signing Day” event for the inaugural cohort of 10 advanced manufacturing students and their employer partners to officially launch the program.

The WIN Advance Michigan Center for Apprenticeship Innovation (AMCAI) team continued to advocate for registered apprenticeship programs by presenting at various forums, including the Region 29Career Technical Education Council, Perkins Coordinators Joint Meeting, State of Michigan Rehabilitation Services, and other significant events. WIN also extends its congratulations to Cameron Albring, Apprenticeship Manager at Oakland Community College, for earning a well-deserved spot in the second cohort of U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Ambassadors. Last year, WIN received four appointments on the inaugural cohort. The AMCAI team is comprised of Amanda Bauerschmidt, Janene Erne, Jessica Keenan, Jim Babin, and Katie Webber.

WIN recognizes the insightful leadership of WIN Co-Chairs, Justin Al-Igoe of Macomb-St. Clair Michigan Works! and Dr. Patricia Chatman of Henry Ford College. Al-Igoe completed his second year as a Co-Chair and the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance CEO Greg Pitoniak will begin serving as the new Michigan Works! WIN Board Co-Chair in 2024.

Supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Labor Closing the Skills Gap grant, the WIN Data and Research team produced and streamlined the development of the 2023 Quarterly and Annual Labor Market Reports. The efficiencies that were implemented to produce the labor market reports covering 19 counties, the City of Detroit, and the WIN Region, significantly reduced the staff time required to generate the reports. The ultimate result was releasing and posting these reports on up to a full month earlier than ever before! The WIN Data and Research team is staffed with two Senior Research Analysts, Dr. Dayoung An and Kevin Cranick.

Additionally, the WIN Board of Director organizations hosted over 30 #NAW2023 events for National Apprenticeship Week, which highlighted two new U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeship programs; the Automotive Service Technician Apprenticeship program in Washtenaw County and the Automotive Tech Specialist Apprenticeship Program in Monroe County. The WIN team deeply appreciates the ongoing support and engagement of our partners in advancing apprenticeship opportunities in the region!

2. Career Profiles and the Michigan Workforce Career and Resource Guide

The WIN Data and Research team accomplished a monumental task by completing the Michigan Workforce Career and Resource Guide, which has been gaining attention as one of the best workforce guides across the Midwest. The guide features career profiles for high-demand occupations in 11 industry clusters, labor market wage information, employment projections through 2028, and in-demand skills, along with over 50 points of contact for job seekers which includes websites to academia and Michigan Works! Agencies for wraparound support services, training funds, and regional training initiatives. Feel welcome to download, print, and share the Michigan Workforce Career and Resource Guide on

3. Michigan Alliance for Greater Mobility Advancement (MAGMA) & EV Jobs Academy Growth and Recognition

The Michigan EV Jobs Academy achieved numerous accomplishments in 2023. The Education and Training team prepared and published a recognized curriculum list, which was vetted by engaged employer stakeholders and champions. The employer-led collaborative expanded to include all Michigan Works! Agencies and community colleges. A Battery Technician program was procured by Henry Ford College through EIT Innonergy for scaling to community colleges statewide on the Michigan Workforce Training and Education Collaborative (MWTEC), shared online learning platform.

In August, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) Smart Cities and Community Fleets Collaborative hosted an EV Fleet Expo & Ride and Drive Event in Canton, Michigan. The event featured a panel discussion moderated by WIN Executive Director, Michele Economou Ureste, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing with municipalities and environmental leaders. The Global Epicenter of Mobility (GEM) and Michigan Works! Agencies have been established to attract new talent, and enhanced opportunities were identified for pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs focused on mobility and electrification.

Industry stakeholders and the public were invited to the September MAGMA Advisory Council meeting, which was held during a special EV Jobs Academy North American International Auto Show event in Detroit. The event highlighted the remarkable accomplishments of the EV Jobs Academy, spotlighting opportunities in Michigan’s electric vehicle and mobility industry while learning about new and exciting deliverables during an exclusive Auto Show pre-session. A resolution was presented by:

Featured speakers also included MAGMA Co-Chairs Kimberly Steinfeldt of GKN Automotive and David Venegas, Nissan, Ben Cruz of Macomb Community College Center for Advanced Automotive Technology, Michael Horrigan of  W.E. Upjohn Institute and more! The event was moderated by Jennifer Llewellyn, Oakland County Michigan Works! who recognized the generous event sponsor Amatrol, ATS Midwest, and the Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA)All event presentations are posted on the website.

Another noteworthy MAGMA Advisory Council presentation included Deloitte’s 2023 Global Human Capital Trends Report, featuring seven pivotal shifts impacting organizational human agendas. Kelly Services also addressed Talent Attraction, Retention, and Diversity Trends in the Automotive Industry, complemented by national talent trends from Detroit SHRM and local hiring best practices from the State of Michigan Civic Services Commission.

In the final quarter, a defining moment for the EV Jobs Academy was to showcase the complex employer-led collaborative strategy for building the EV talent pipeline in Michigan as the keynote topic at the U.S. Department of Labor ETA Vision 2023 Convening. The panel included employer champion Paul Bowser of Roush Performance, Michele Economou Ureste of WIN, and Deb Lyzenga with the State of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).

WIN provides hearty recognition to the EV Jobs Academy working collaborative and project team leads, the LEO representatives Deb Lyzenga and Anne Pentiak, employers and stakeholder partners for their dedication, perseverance, and adaptability throughout the year, along with the MAGMA Governing Board, and  Paul Bowser of Roush Performance, Ann Thompson of Ford Motor Company, John Kerr of DENSO, David Venegas of NISSAN, Kim Steinfeldt of GKN Automotive, and Meg Wallace of Toyota Research Institute of North America. The EV Jobs Academy is led by WIN’s Dr. Janis Karazim, and Laurie Huber, with support from Alysha Albrecht, Deborah Bayer, and Michele Economou Ureste.

4. One Workforce Industry Infinity Team Success and Grant Performance

WIN has been working closely with the Board of Directors and stakeholder partners to gather essential data for performance tracking. One Workforce Industry Infinity (OWII) focused on education and training to build a pipeline of workers with industry-recognized skills necessary to support the advancement of ourcountry’s IT/cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, and transportation sectors. Innovative training models are being designed and updated to implement emerging digital and technology curriculum and certifications. The OWII staff played a crucial role by offering leadership and best practice documentation to all H-1B One Workforce grantees in the transportation, distribution, and logistics sectors. Given that these occupations represent a new workforce sector with limited existing research and metrics for training, our team provided essential guidance and insights to facilitate effective initiatives. The Industry Infinity initiative is led by WIN’s Deborah Bayer and Kristi Ayers with support from Alysha Albrecht, Haley Porter, Katie Webber, and Michele Economou Ureste.

Through collaborative efforts with the local workforce system, education and training providers, and employers, nearly 1,000 individuals received services through OWII in year three, exceeding the four-year period of performance goal of 875. This success is made possible thanks to the OWII staff and partners.

In May, the OWII team actively participated in the Mackinaw Policy Conference, securing coverage on a dozen media outlets to discuss WIN initiatives and the availability of short-term training reimbursement funding. WIN staff played a prominent role in these discussions:

The OWII team also collaborated with the dynamic staff at Oakland Community College, energizing the promotion and sharing of inspiring short-term training success stories. These stories are a testament to the transformative impact of our initiatives and are great examples of the work being done across the region:

5. Health Career Alliance: Leading the Way

The Health Careers Alliance for Southeast Michigan (HCA) is an employer-led healthcare collaborative with over 23 major healthcare systems in Michigan, facilitated by WIN Program Manager Dr. Jan Karazim. In 2023, Dr. Karazim led chief nursing officers to develop a licensed practical nurse (LPN) program to advance incumbent workers. The program will be available statewide and eliminate, or greatly reduce, the time and place barriers of traditional nursing program schedules. The program enrollment launch is targeted for fall 2024.

HCA also facilitated a collaborative Surgical Technologist registered apprenticeship program with five employers and Mott Community College as the related technical instruction provider.

Under the leadership of Jody Kerbyson, Executive Director of GST Michigan Works!, and WIN Board of Director, GST achieved and surpassed every grant outcome not just for WIN, but for the State of Michigan, showcasing the dedication and expertise of the team to the Michigan Rural Enhanced Access to Careers in Healthcare (MiREACH) program.

In April, Dr. Karazim was appointed by co-chairs Lizabeth Ardisana, CEO of ASG Renaissance, Deborah Dingell, Congresswoman for the 6th District, U.S. House of Representatives, and David Hecker, President of AFT Michigan, to the newly formed Health Care Taskforce. This sub-committee operates under the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC), a public/private partnership dedicated to equity, sustainability, economic opportunity, improved quality of life, and regional cooperation in Southeast Michigan.

6. Southeast Michigan Workforce Leadership Academy

On December 7, 2023, WIN Communications Manager, Alysha Albrecht graduated from the Aspen Institute and Corporation for Skilled Workforce Detroit Workforce Leadership Academy Economic Opportunities Program, along with the following WIN Board of Director organization staff:

  • Carmen Bender, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC)
  • Michael D. Lewis, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC)
  • Claudia Stephens, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC)
  • Ellen Lux, Macomb Community College
  • Kandyce Smith, Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!
  • Lisa Straske, Oakland County Michigan Works
  • Robert Leadley, Schoolcraft College
  • And 12 additional workforce leaders and professionals in the Detroit region

WIN expresses deep gratitude for the dedicated efforts of the Board of Directors organizations, employee partners, and affiliates. Your unwavering support is integral to our crucial work, and we genuinely appreciate it. Wishing you and yours a season filled with comfort and joy, and a New Year filled with good health and happiness, from the entire WIN team!

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