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Op-Ed: New Year, New Opportunities for a Brighter Future in Michigan
January 20, 2024
As we usher in the new year, many are considering a resolution that has the power to transform their lives in profound ways—a career resolution.
Whether you are contemplating a career shift, looking to grow your businesses or considering a skilled apprenticeship program, 2024 is the perfect time to take that leap of faith. The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and its network of community partners are here to support Michiganders looking to take this leap and embark on their journey toward a fulfilling career.
We understand the importance of meaningful employment when it comes to quality of life. We also understand the role business owners play in growing our workforce and strengthening the state’s economic momentum.
Making it in Michigan with a good-paying, high-demand career
Everybody should be able to make it in Michigan and a part of that equation is having a good-paying job so you can support your family. In Michigan, there were more than 76,000 active jobs posted in December 2023 that paid more than the statewide hourly average of $21.88. For those considering a new career path, LEO and our partners offer a diverse range of programs and services available to help Michiganders land their dream jobs in high-demand, high-paying industries—from job readiness resources to tailored support for veterans and individuals with disabilities. Gov. Whitmer and LEO recently awarded $14.4 million to nonprofits across the state to help them remove barriers to employment for low-income individuals. Everyone in Michigan should have access to career opportunities. No exceptions.
Sharpening your skills with apprenticeships and training
The job market is evolving, and so are the skills required to thrive in it. As Michigan continues to navigate the complex and ever-changing economic landscape, LEO is committed to providing opportunities for Michiganders to gain educational skills and job training. We remain committed to this mission because we know the benefits of skilled training extend far beyond the individual and business levels—they ripple through the entire state, contributing to a more robust and interconnected economic ecosystem. Educational and job opportunities available to Michiganders include the Michigan Reconnect program, which provides tuition-free opportunities to earn an associate degree, and the state’s Registered Apprenticeship program.
Uplifting businesses to drive workforce and economic momentum statewide
At LEO, we work with our partners to nurture Michigan’s business-friendly environment to create positive impacts that can be felt across the state. This means working closely with businesses to ensure they have the skilled workforce they need to keep their doors open. The state’s Going PRO Talent Fund recently awarded millions of dollars to hundreds of businesses statewide to help them train, develop and retain current and future employees. Since launching in 2014, more than 173,000 Michiganders have received high-skill, in-demand job training because of the Going PRO Talent Fund.
In 2024, let us collectively embrace the spirit of new beginnings and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. Your resolution for a brighter future is not just a personal commitment; it is an investment in the prosperity of our beloved state. Together, let's make Michigan a place where dreams come true and all Michiganders have the tools they need to find meaning and success in their careers.
To learn more about the career opportunities provided by the state, please visit www.michigan.gov/leo.
Susan Corbin is the director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity