Michigan 4-H fosters career preparation

4-H Youth Development can help young people gain knowledge and skills to fit high-demand, high-wage jobs and careers in Michigan.

As a part of our work, Michigan State University Extension provides programming for 4-H volunteers and young people in the area of workforce and career preparation. In 2016, we reached 11,121 participants in 80 of Michigan’s 83 counties through 377 educational events, programs and workshops.

According to the August issue of “Michigan’s Labor Market News,” Michigan’s jobless rate declined significantly for the first six months of 2017 with a rate of 3.8 percent in June. “Michigan’s Labor Market News” went on to say, “This was the lowest unemployment rate in the state since August of 2000. However, employment counts in Michigan are currently well below the peak levels recorded in the year 2000. Data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that Michigan’s national ranking among states has also improved. Michigan tied for the 20th lowest jobless rate among states in June 2017, and the Michigan rate was below the national rate of 4.4 percent.” Clearly, this is a brighter picture than what Michigan faced almost a decade ago.

As young people look forward to the job and career opportunities of their future,Michigan’s Hot 50 identifies 50 high-demand, high-wage careers and their outlook through 2024. Many of these opportunities fall within the fields of health, engineering, business, technology (use and design), sales and marketing, and trades such as plumbers, electricians, pipefitters and steamfitters. Most of the Hot 50 will require some post-secondary education.

In “Child Trends Workforce Connections Executive Summary,” June 2015, five key soft skills were identified collectively by researchers, employers, youth and program implementers—that “most enabled youth (15-29) worldwide to be successful in the workplace.” These soft skills are social skills, communication skills, higher-order thinking, self-control and positive self-concept.

Michigan 4-H plays a role in helping youth develop these soft skills while learning hard skills through programs that help a young person gain knowledge and experience as they explore job and career options.

To learn more about the positive impact of MSU Extension and Michigan 4-H career preparationmoney management and entrepreneurship programs, read the Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”

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