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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Ann Arbor workshop brings business, education leaders together to identify partnership opportunities to apply for Marshall Plan funding

Dan Olsen

517-290-7807 |

ANN ARBOR, Mich.  – More than 120 area business and education leaders gathered in Ann Arbor today to discuss partnership opportunities to create programs designed to connect Michiganders with more than 811,000 high-demand, high-wage career openings through 2024 – growing their paychecks and the state’s economy.

As the Marshall Plan for Talent grant criteria is being finalized, state leaders are holding informational workshops around Michigan to help business and education leaders prepare to apply for the plan’s funds. Today’s participants discussed needs, potential barriers and partnerships needed to help form a talent consortium – a critical and necessary component in the application process.

“Today, the hard work begins,” Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan Director Roger Curtis said. “Now that Michigan has this essential talent development tool, it’s time get to work in revolutionizing our dated education and talent development system, so we can compete in the 21st century global economy. And although this workshop provides leaders with a great first step, they must continue these collaborations and partnerships long after today to affect lasting change that better prepares Michiganders for the high-demand, high-wage careers of today and the future.”

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.

Concordia University Executive Director of Career Engagement and Industry Relations Dr. Joey-Lynn Bialkowski noted universities play an important role in this plan.

“Concordia University understands the importance of working together with our K-12 education and business partners to help develop courses and curricula that will ensure Michiganders are better prepared for the workforce needs of today and the future,” Bialkowski said. “The Marshall Plan for Talent is a great opportunity to help bring all stakeholders together to ensure our state’s education and talent development system meets the demands of a 21st century global economy and we stand ready to help build the strong partnerships that will move our state forward and connect Michiganders with high-demand, high-wage careers.”

Through 2024, Michigan will have more than 811,000 career openings to fill in fields that are facing a critical talent shortage, equating to nearly $50 billion in potential earnings for Michiganders. 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