Businesses across Macomb County and southeast Michigan are slowly coming to an alarming realization: The workers they depend on are approaching retirement, and there are few, if any, in the talent pipeline ready to replace them. This unsettling epiphany has left many regional employers inspired to take action in the hopes of heading off the incoming talent drought, but there is just one problem. While some companies, whether through luck or ingenuity, have figured out how to begin developing future talent, many businesses’ good intentions go unfulfilled because they simply do not know how to convert their enthusiasm into action. If you are one of the many employers feeling this way, powerless in the face of a reduced skilled workforce, or if you just want to expand your talent development efforts, MI Bright Future is for you.
MI Bright Future is a revolutionary talent development initiative currently underway in Macomb County and the greater southeast Michigan region. Through the initiative, participating employers connect directly with 118,000 students through an easy-to-use online portal to offer career guidance and education advice. Macomb County has been on the forefront of this initiative since the very beginning and is eagerly looking for more employers to partner with MI Bright Future to interact with students. In Macomb County alone, there are already over 33,000 students currently engaging with the system. One Macomb County business, Medstar Ambulance, was so eager to connect with students they recently became a contributing sponsor of the program! This enthusiasm is widely shared throughout the community, as over 230 companies and 330 career coaches have already registered to serve. And while that may sound like a lot, it’s not enough!
Why isn’t it enough? Because it is no secret that as times change, so too do the talent and skill demands of industry, and despite the educational system’s best efforts, they struggle to keep up. The ensuing disconnect between the demands of a modern economy and the curriculum of contemporary education leaves students unaware of not only the many job opportunities that exist in southeast Michigan, but more importantly the skills and credentials employers need. MI Bright Future bridges this gap by establishing a digital meeting place for professionals and students to interact directly with one another, and the more employers in the system, the more students that can be steered in the proper direction! By cutting through the red tape that has traditionally separated students from the professional world, MI Bright Future provides companies, who are the true experts in their field, the chance to educate students with real-time information about their industry, while also recruiting top-quality talent to their business.
If MI Bright Future sounds a bit too good to be true, prepare to be even more amazed, because signing up for MI Bright Future is not only free, but a company’s level of engagement is entirely up to them. That means a business can do as much, or as little, as they like. From doing no more than posting a company profile to boost community awareness of their business, to registering career coaches to answer student questions on online discussion boards or offering work-based learning activities such as internships and guest speaking—even becoming a contributing sponsor like Medstar Ambulance—options range widely so a company is free to engage however they see fit.
MI Bright Future is for both those hoping to recruit young talent to their industry and those simply wishing to make a positive impact on the lives of young Michiganders. To register, visit mibrightfuture.org and complete the registration form that best suits your preference. Registrants may elect to register their company as a whole, or register only themselves as career coaches independent of their business. If you have any questions during the registration process, please contact the MI Bright Future team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trevor Leatzow is a program assistant for MI Bright Future.