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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Career and Education Advisory Councils connect employers, educators with technical assistance to build career training programs

New councils were included in Michigan Career Pathways Alliance recommendations

517-243-7530 | MURRAYD5@MICHIGAN.GOV

LANSING, Mich., Jan. 30, 2018 — Michigan’s educators can’t close the talent gap alone. They need partnerships with employers and other stakeholders so students graduate with in-demand skills they can use right in their communities. New Career and Education Advisory Councils will serve as the conduit for those relationships, said Roger Curtis, director of the Department of Talent and Economic Development.

Curtis said the advisory councils establish a formal entity and mechanism to build partnerships between school districts, employers, higher education, advocates and training centers. They replace Talent District Career Councils and Education Advisory Groups, building a more effective and streamlined process.

“Growing talent is essential to maximize Michigan’s economic momentum,” Curtis said. “We want to create more and better jobs, and we want to ensure that our children are learning skills that are in demand. To do that well, we need to have educators and employers at the table – together. This is a call to action. But it’s also a hand extended for help.”

Curtis said the Michigan Department of Education, Talent Investment Agency, Michigan Works! and the Department of Talent and Economic Development have collaborated to build this statewide platform as part of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance. The state also needs the education and business communities to come together to partner and develop mutually beneficial programs for students.

“Our goal is for their efforts to focus on career exposure and exploration opportunities for students, teachers, and counselors, support for curriculum and professional development, and other initiatives that support preparing students for the jobs and careers of the 21st Century,” he said.

“We have already seen great examples of collaboration around the state – Shape Corporation and Grand Haven Schools, Dart Corporation and Ingham County Intermediate School District, Technique and Jackson County schools, FANUC Robotics and several high schools and many more. We believe that the CEAC’s will foster and lead to even more examples of this level of collaboration.”

Recognizing that different areas of the state have different talent needs, the partnerships will identify demands in local communities and work collectively to develop education and training programs. The councils will advise Workforce Development Boards in the state’s 16 service areas, and provide guidance to districts within the service areas.

The Career and Education Advisory councils were part of the 17 recommendations from the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance, which was created by Gov. Rick Snyder and is headed by Curtis and State Superintendent Brian Whiston. The alliance includes more than 130 education, business, economic development and labor organizations from across the state.

“Employers must play a vital role in helping schools educate and train our coming generations,” Whiston said. “They might not know how to build those relationships or what they can do. That’s where the advisory councils can be extremely effective.”

By policy, the councils must include stakeholders including:

  • At least three employers who represent in-demand industries that provide high-wage, high-growth careers,
  • A union representative;
  • Representative from a local school district and an intermediate school district offering career-tech or adult education classes;
  • A representative from post-secondary education;
  • Career and technical education administrators;
  • A public school parent;
  • An educator from a K-12 district or higher education.

The councils have the option of including a public school student. The councils also must seek input from the local Michigan Works! agency, a business development manager from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, an economic analyst from the state Bureau Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, an industry engagement expert from the Talent Investment Agency.

Input must also be available from experts focusing on veterans, correctional education programs, foster programs, and out-of-school youth programs addressing entrepreneurship, work-readiness skills and financial literacy.