Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan
Governor Rick Snyder opened the 2013 Governor's Education Summit with a call to action for educators and businesses to find ways to collaborate, create and connect talent with opportunity in Michigan.
As evidence of the need to make those connections, Snyder pointed to the fact that Michigan has thousands of open jobs that the existing workforce can't fill.
"We still have too much unemployment in Michigan, we're over eight percent still. But on [MiTalent.org], we have over 60,000 open jobs. Good jobs," he said. "If we filled those 60,000-plus jobs, we'd drop our unemployment rate by about one and a half percentage points. That's a lot. So we need to do something different."
As a first step, Snyder convened an economic summit last month where speakers and attendees addressed Michigan's employer talent needs. With the Education Summit, Governor Snyder invited educators to collaborate with the private sector in finding ways to fill those needs.
"The main message is not what I'm gonna say. Because I view it as, what's the role of government in all this? I'm here to be a facilitator, a convener," Snyder remarked. "But the best thing that's gonna happen is, as government, we don't get in the way and actually let the private sector talk to the education sector and bring the two worlds together.
"The world's changed a lot in the last 10 years, 20 years, 50 years," he said. "The world's much more demanding in terms of specifying what you need to have to get a position. And that's only becoming more challenging. So the issue is, in many respects, for our most precious asset, we've built a system that doesn't work anymore in terms of helping people be successful.
"So we need to do something about it, and when I say 'we,' I'm talking nationally, as a country."