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Planning and Economic Development

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eMacomb - Featured Article, Fall 2016

MI Bright Future.png

What’s the Problem?

Michigan is facing a serious talent pipeline problem. Students are not enrolling and completing at sufficient rates in educational courses, programs, or training in many high-demand fields that are critical to the local economy. The number of job postings in fields such as health care, information technology, and manufacturing grossly outweighs the number of students completing degrees or certificates relevant to those fields, as the graph below shows. Thus, Michigan businesses are struggling to find qualified workers in today’s youth population.

2015 Completions vs 2015 Job Demands.png

Demand is between 2.4 and 20 times higher than the number of new graduates each year. This means that job demand exists, but unemployment remains high due to the lack of qualified candidates for the positions that are available! And with roughly 10,000 workers retiring each day in the U.S. for the next 17 years, Southeast Michigan will lose roughly 58,000 competent workers each year. Without enough students completing the degrees and certificates to qualify for these jobs, local businesses are facing a major talent gap.

What is MI Bright Future?

MI Bright Future is a collaboration of regional intermediary school districts, post-secondary education, and workforce partners working to help students become better connected to the local industries that will employ them in the future.

Using MI Bright Future, students are able to explore various industries by connecting with local companies offering work-based learning opportunities like job shadowing, internships and company tours. Employers and community mentors can also interact with students through secure online discussion boards. This enables local companies to nurture their talent pipeline by offering content, mentoring, or sharing valuable knowledge with local students.

How Can I Get Involved?

Create a Profile

Become a member of the MI Bright Future community by creating an online profile at no cost to you. This profile allows employers and community mentors to make students, parents, and teachers aware of their company/industry expertise, interact through message boards, and post work-based learning opportunities for students, such as company tours or events, job shadows or internships, and part-time, summer, or full-time job opportunities. This profile and how it’s used allows for flexible control over the level of engagement between the company and the local schools, and provides a way for companies to advertise the great work they are already doing with students.

  1. Act as a Champion by promoting MI Bright Future to other local companies. Sign up to be a MI Bright Future champion, and you will receive materials to encourage your peers to support this effort.
  2. Serve as an Advisor by joining the MI Bright Future employer advisory council to help school districts understand how to better connect to local businesses. Be an influential voice by participating in partner meetings to discuss what works and what doesn’t.
  3. Become a Sponsor and financially support the program so staff and technology can continue to coordinate communication and marketing opportunities to continually connect students to the business community.

Visit our website now to get started: www.mibrightfuture.orgIn Macomb County, please contact: Patrice Wynn, Career Services Coordinator, Macomb Intermediate School District at or 586-228-3523.