2014 Governor's Economic Summit: collaborate. create. connect.

This week, more than 700 business and education executives, workforce and economic development leaders, and other stakeholders gathered in Grand Rapids for the second annual Governor's Economic Summit. The two-day summit featured a variety of speakers, including Governor Rick Snyder, Mike Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Doug DeVos, president of Amway, and Jeff DeGraff, "dean of innovation" and professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

The summit enabled leaders from regions across the state collaborate and brainstorm best practices for creating and retaining talent according to each region's needs. Last year at the inaugural summit, similar breakout sessions were held where participants shared which job types they will be seeking to fill over the next five years. These jobs, including skilled trades, engineers, IT specialists, project management, administrative services, digital marketing and primary care physicians, were consistent with other third-party and Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget forecasts. As a result, Career Jumpstart was created. The program works to increase the knowledge high school students have about in demand careers and training opportunities.

Regions across the state are already participating in a number of programs aimed to increase regional collaboration in economic development and connect employers and talent. During the regional pitch competition, each region shared innovative projects currently underway - three winners were chosen by summit participants and were recognized by Governor Snyder. The three winners were:

Collaboration Award -- an exemplary commitment to collaboration and the reinvention of Michigan.

Winner: Region 10 (Detroit metro/Oakland, Macomb, Wayne counties) for their Career Awareness Incubator, a fully integrated talent system that identifies best practices in particular programs, events and initiatives and discusses how to ramp up and roll out to other counties and sites to develop a consistent, regional approach.

Create Award -- an exemplary commitment to creating innovative solutions and the reinvention of Michigan.

Winner: Region 2 (northwest Michigan) for their STEM Camp for Girls program - a two week summer camp for 19 eighth grade girls that allowed them to apply math and science skills in a real-world discipline: underwater robotics.

Connect Award- an exemplary commitment to connecting businesses and industry leaders and the reinvention of Michigan.

Winner: Region 5 (east central Michigan) for the Fast Start Just in Time Delivery System, which fills hiring needs within the region by recruiting candidates, conducting applicable assessments and counseling and providing basic training to individuals.

Michigan today is known as the comeback state, but business, government and economic development leaders know that through collaboration, the state can do more to build a world class workforce and connect talent to today's opportunities and future ones.

"We've created over a quarter million jobs since 2010 in the private sector. But there is a lot more opportunity out there, particularly in the skilled trades," said Governor Snyder.

For more information on current talent retention programs in the state, visit michiganbusiness.org.

Cross-posted from MichiganAdvantage.org