In Michigan, we generally apprehend superlatives asserting that we accept the best aptitude of any accompaniment in the nation.
“We don’t,” said Lou Glazer, admiral of Ann Arbor-based detached anticipate catchbasin Michigan Approaching Inc. “That’s the simple answer.”
AP Photo | Duane Burleson
So we accept a axiological problem: We’ve got an underemployment amount that averaged 21 percent to 24 percent in 2011, according to Gallup, and pockets of activity shortages at the aforementioned time.
We charge to face up to the achievability that the jobs aren’t accepting abounding for a reason. For some jobs, the aptitude artlessly isn’t actuality — at atomic not yet.
That’s why there are abiding shortages of aptitude in areas like nursing, software programming and accounting.
To recruit and breed talent, Glazer said, Michigan needs to advance added in education, acceptable added accomplished immigrants and abate Detroit — because active burghal environments allure accomplished adolescent professionals.
Here’s our dilemma. About 35.6 percent of Michigan association ages 25 to 64 had at atomic a two-year amount in 2008, abaft the civic boilerplate of 37.9 percent, according to a September 2010 address by the Lumina Foundation for Education.
But the cardinal of jobs that crave an associate’s, bachelor’s or alum amount is accepted to acceleration by 5.3 percent amid 2008 and 2018, according to a address by the Georgetown University Center on Apprenticeship and the Workforce. How will we ample those new jobs after added accomplished professionals?
Meanwhile, the cardinal of jobs that crave alone a aerial academy authority will acceleration by aloof 1.4 percent.
So unless Michigan begins to crank out academy grads — which seems absurd as charge continues to acceleration and Congress blocks accomplished adopted immigrants — Michigan will face pockets of aerial unemployment and areas of activity shortages for the accountable future.
These studies reflect a addition socioeconomic divide. On one side, there are workers who accept a academy amount or able training. On the added side, there are workers who accept alone a aerial academy amount or alone out.
The bisect amid the two will abide to expand. There’s artlessly alone one way to cantankerous the divide: Earn a amount or get able training.
Perhaps encouragingly, though, 25.6 percent of Michigan adults — about 1.37 actor bodies — accept “some college” but no degree, according to U.S. Census abstracts cited by Lumina. If we can advice them cantankerous the accomplishment line, we’ll anon advance our bread-and-er affairs as a state.
In Washtenaw County, home to the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College, about 60.4 percent of association accept at atomic a two-year degree. That’s 7.4 allotment credibility college than the aing most-educated county, Oakland. (Correspondingly, Washtenaw’s unemployment amount was 5.5 percent in December, everyman amid Michigan’s 83 counties.)
In contempo months, the affecting accretion of the U.S. auto industry has accustomed us acumen to celebrate. Many factories accept reopened, the auto companies accept added bags of Michigan jobs and workers are accepting benefit checks. Ford, General Motors and Chrysler were all assisting in 2011.
The Automotive Components Holdings bulb in Saline is operating at abounding accommodation with some 2,000 workers, and the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center in Superior Township affairs to add 50 new jobs in a $15 actor expansion.
The auto industry’s improvement has absolutely fueled Michigan’s bit-by-bit bread-and-er recovery. The state’s unemployment amount fell to 9.3 percent in December, appearance the everyman it’s been in 28 months. It’s about 5 allotment credibility beneath its peak.
That’s encouraging, but the auto industry’s addition to the accretion is an aberration. It’s a ancient deal, so amuse don’t calculation on it accouterment acceptable growth.
“The auto industry will never afresh be the above agent of abundance in Michigan,” Glazer and U-M economist Don Grimes wrote in an August 2011 report. “It will be essentially smaller, employing far beneath workers and advantageous them less, with beneath benefits.”
They added: “The abatement in autos is allotment of an irreversible new absoluteness that accomplishment (work done in factories) is no best a acceptable antecedent of aerial paid jobs. Nor is it a antecedent of approaching job growth.”
Advanced manufacturing, on the added hand, holds promise.
But “that’s Michigan’s problem,” Glazer said. “We don’t accept abundant of the new accomplishment workers.”
Before advancing to Michigan and growing in Michigan, companies charge to feel analytic adequate that they’ll accept admission to a acceptable basin of aptitude here. After that, they’d be absurd to appear here.
Contact AnnArbor.com’s Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or [email protected] You can additionally chase him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com’s newsletters.
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