Last week, the L’Anse Creuse School District hosted Career Night, an annual event focused on igniting student interest in learning and preparing to enter the workforce.
Nearly 500 participants joined the evening festivities, which included a mix of students and their family members. With over 60 careers represented, students were exposed to a wide variety of professional opportunities.
Macomb County’s Department of Planning & Economic Development Deputy Director Vicky Rad and I were present to encourage students to explore career paths in both government and STEM-related industries. We spoke to students not only about careers in planning and economic development, but also about those that are in high-demand and directly impact our local businesses.
As an economic development specialist, I meet regularly with companies that are in need of talented engineers, machinists and cybersecurity professionals, so we spoke to students about the increasing demand for these types of positions and the local opportunities in higher education that support these career paths. Many of the students we spoke with were passionate about finding a career in one of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, and more importantly, they were preparing themselves for higher education opportunities after graduation.
One of the documents we shared with students was the Workforce Intelligence Network report naming the top jobs in Southeast Michigan in advanced manufacturing and information technology. Among the most in-demand positions are mechanical, electrical and civil engineers, as well as industrial designers, each of which pay roughly $35 to $40 per hour. When students were able to directly compare careers with salary ranges and educational requirements, they had a much easier time understanding how their work in school can prepare them for future success.
By connecting with students and talking to them about the careers of the future, we hope to inspire the next generation of great thinkers and doers!
Alyssa Tracey is a senior economic development specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development.