State of Michigan aides in connecting workers with jobs

State of Michigan forms new department to strengthen workforce development efforts and partner organizations.

Recently, Governor Snyder announced the creation of a new state department, Department of Talent and Economic Development. The goal of this new department is to develop and strengthen the workforce to better suit the needs of Michigan employers. Quoted in the Detroit Free Press from a news conference held December 18 in Lansing, Snyder said, "I'm excited by this, we have tens of thousands of open jobs that are not being filled, and the new agency will help put Michigan workers in good jobs more quickly.”

The new department will be comprised of a few organizations, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and a new agency called the Michigan Talent Investment Agency. Also playing a role will be the Workforce Development Agency, the Governor's Talent Investment Board and the Unemployment Insurance Agency. With the combination of agencies and departments, it will give greater resources and assistance to those already helping to improve Michigan’s job force.

Michigan State University Extension has been helping to accomplish this same goal for the past 100 years. MSU Extension provides resources to individuals, communities, businesses and their partners to help move Michigan’s economy in a positive direction. One of MSU Extension’s partners, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA), has also been working to enhance the economy of Northern Lower Michigan by acting as a resource for local government and entrepreneurs to retain and create quality jobs. As of December 1, 2014 the NLEA has helped to create 169 new jobs in Northern Michigan as well as retain over 850 jobs.

Michigan State University Extension has had a unique relationship with the regional economic development organization Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) for more than 20 years. Recognizing the strength of combining resources, this partnership focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship growth and community infrastructure throughout a four-county region in the northwest Lower Peninsula, specifically Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties. As a result, the NLEA utilizes resources offered through MSU Extension as it provides leadership to statewide programs sponsored by MSU Extension.

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