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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Thumb-area business, education leaders gather to discuss partnership opportunities to revolutionize state's education, talent development system

Dan Olsen

517-290-7807 |

MARLETTE, Mich. – As Michigan works to close the state’s talent gap, bringing business and education leaders together will be instrumental. And the Marshall Plan for Talent is designed to do just that, Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan Director Roger Curtis said today as nearly 70 businesses and education leaders gathered in Marlette to discuss opportunities available through the Marshall Plan for Talent.

Today’s workshop is one in a series of events being held around the state to bring together business, K-12 and higher education participants to discuss needs, potential barriers and partnerships necessary to help form consortia that will allow them to apply for Marshall Plan funds.

“These workshops are about starting the conversation on how we can all work together to ensure Michigan is the top state for the most and best talent for high-demand, high-wage careers,” Curtis said. “It’s also about breaking down the walls between business and education to create a more seamless system for developing that talent and ensuring all Michiganders can become lifelong learners.”

The Marshall Plan is an additional $100 million investment in innovative programs to revolutionize Michigan’s talent and education system. It supports schools that want to transform education through programs like competency-based certifications, world-class curricula and classroom equipment, scholarships and stipends, and support for career navigators and teachers. The funding complements the more than $225 million in existing talent development efforts in the state.

Workshop participants were excited about the opportunities the plan provides. Ford Next Generation Learning and GST Michigan Works! said they stand ready to help form partnerships needed build robust programs that prepare Michiganders for high-demand, high-wage careers. 

“With the Marshall Plan for Talent, Michigan is putting the framework together to break down silos and create collaborative partnerships to prepare our young people for high-demand, high-wage careers,” Ford Next Generation Learning Community Coach Scott Palmer said. “We’re excited to see the great momentum behind the Marshall Plan. Due to the strong alignment with our framework, Ford Next Generation Learning sees itself as a conduit for helping communities meet the objectives of this initiative, which will better prepare Michiganders for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

“We are excited to continue to link arms with our partners to transform the way we develop talent here in Michigan,” GST Michigan Works! CEO Jody Kerbyson added.

Through 2024, Michigan will have more than 811,000 career openings to fill in fields that are facing a critical talent shortage. As the state considers talent preparation changes for these fields, the greatest demand for talent will be in increasingly high-skill, high-tech fields such as in information technology and computer science, manufacturing, health care and other business and Professional Trades careers.

For more information about the Marshall Plan for Talent, visit