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Lt. Gov. Gilchrist brings statewide Sixty by 30 Talent Tour virtually to Detroit metro region


Contact: Erica Quealy, 

September 9, 2021  

Lt. Gov. Gilchrist brings statewide Sixty by 30 Talent Tour virtually to Detroit metro region  

State announces Detroit metro region high-wage, high-demand career data through 2028  and highlights tuition-free paths to those careers through programs like Michigan Reconnect 

DETROIT, MICH - Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II today joined state and regional talent leaders to continue the Michigan Sixty by 30 Talent Tour with a virtual stop in the Detroit metro region, celebrating the growing number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree toward the goal of 60% by 2030 and highlighting opportunities for more Michiganders to take advantage of low- or no-cost training to excel in high-demand careers.  

"We know that education and skills training directly impact economic opportunity and social mobility," said Lt. Governor Gilchrist. "It's critical that we continue to work together to boost educational attainment beyond high school so Michiganders have the skills they need to succeed in high-demand careers that will help them bring home the kind of paycheck that will make a difference in their lives. We have an aggressive goal to reach 60% of our workforce with a postsecondary credential by 2030. This is how we will set Michigan apart and usher in a new era of prosperity for our families." 

The tour's aim is to highlight the state's latest Sixty by 30 achievements and promote awareness of how programs like Michigan Reconnect are creating a rewarding path to in-demand careers, such as those recently announced in a new report forecasting career trends in metro Detroit through 2028. 

Data compiled by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives shows metro Detroit is home to nearly 1.7 million jobs and is projected to have almost 209,000 job openings every year through 2028. Of those projected openings, at least 52,300 will typically require a postsecondary certification, an associate degree or apprenticeship.? 

Since Michigan Reconnect launched this February, over 80,000 state residents have been accepted into the program, including more than 37,000 in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne countiesSince Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the Sixty by 30 goal, the percentage of working-age adults with a certificate, associate degree or higher has increased from 45% to 49%. 

"Programs like Michigan Reconnect are helping to put hardworking men and women on a path to fulfilling careers that provide economic security," said Office of Sixty by 30 Director Kerry Ebersole Singh. "And, they're working. If current trends continue, we'll be on track to reach our goal by 2030 and make Michigan a better place for all."   

Within the state's new set of employment projections, data shows several long-term trends that will impact the Detroit region and Michigan labor market. Among them are an aging population that will continue to spur demand for jobs in health care industries and occupations, the continued use of online shopping that will drive changes in the distribution of retail-related jobs, and an increase in careers that require postsecondary training or education.  

Statewide data projections show Michigan's population is expected to grow by 3.6% through 2028. This population growth, however, is expected to be combined with a sharp 28% increase in people age 65 and older. Largely because the number of residents approaching retirement age is expected to outpace the count of new residents in the state, the Michigan labor force is expected to contract by 0.2% through 2028.  

The driving force of Michigan's population change and labor force contraction will also govern the industries and occupations that will be needed most in the coming years. The aging of Michigan's population and workforce is expected to drive demand for many medical-related industries.  

In metro Detroit, for example, some of the high-demand, high-wage health care occupations projected to grow the most through 2028 include dental laboratory technician, which is projected to grow by 23.2% and requires an associate degree to earn $18 to $29 per hour; occupation therapy assistant, which is projected to grow by 16.7% and requires an associate degree to earn $21 to $28 per hour; and respiratory therapist assistant, which is projected to grow by 12.3% and requires an associate degree to earn $21 to $30 per hour. 

The state's aging trend also affects Michigan's manufacturing sector, where miscellaneous manufacturing, which includes medical equipment manufacturing, is projected to grow at the fastest rate of all industries in the sector. In the Detroit region, manufacturing occupations with expected rates of high growth include CNC machine tool programmer, which is projected to grow by 15.6% and requires a postsecondary certificate to earn $20 to $30 per hour, and millwright, which is also projected to grow by 15.6% and requires an associate degree to earn $32 to $38 per hour.  

"Businesses tell us every day that access to talent is their No. 1 priority to be able to compete,"?said Detroit Regional Chamber Vice President of Education and Talent Greg Handel. "There are nearly 700,000 people in our region who started college but never finished a degree. With 75% of the jobs of the future requiring a postsecondary degree or certificate, we believe the business community has an important role to play in helping to grow Michigan's talent pipeline. We're proud to partner in these efforts."   

Today's event also celebrated the success story of Detroit metro region student whose career pursuits reflect the latest trends in high-demand, high-wage jobs in growing sectors across the state. 

Ed Callens, a 31-year-old Michigan Reconnect program participant, is enrolled in Wayne County Community College's computer information systems program while he works full time as an IT specialist for Detroit at Work. The 2007 graduate of Algonac High School in St. Clair County was previously a student at St. Clair Community College until legal troubles led to the loss of his Pell Grant and forced him to leave school in 2008. 

"I have always been fascinated with computersand it's been my lifelong dream to work in the technology field," Ed Callens, a 31-year-old Michigan Reconnect program participant said. "Unfortunately, I made some bad decisions that ruined my academic plans. I thought that was the end of my education until Michigan Reconnect gave me a second chance to chase my dreams."    

Michigan Reconnect is the largest effort in state history to ensure that Michiganders who are 25 or older and do not have a college degree more than 4.1 million in all - will have an opportunity to earn an associate degree or skills certificate with free or discounted tuition. The $30 million bipartisan investment launched February 2021 and will pay the cost of in-district tuition for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate degree or skills certificate at any of Michigan's public community colleges, including its three tribal collegesThe program also offers skills scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition through more than 70 private training schools with 120 programs that offer certificates in high-demand careers in industries such as manufacturing, construction, information technology, health care or business management. More information is available at