November 2, 2022 | Employer Talent Pipeline news from around the region
Building Talent Pipelines with Employers as the End-Customer
Managing a talent pipeline can be compared to managing a supply chain. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a course called Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) and asserts that employers can close the skills gap by applying lessons learned from supply chain management. TPM envisions a demand-driven system in which employers are positioned as the “end-use customer.”

Supply chains are a series of customer-supplier relationships starting with the end customer, or the customer closest to the end-use of the product or service. Effective supply chains work backward from the end-customer, with first-tier suppliers functioning as the customer of the second-tier suppliers and so forth. Each partner along the way adds incremental value to the chain.

Education has long looked to a wider field of learning for students, more like an array than a chain. Education tackles the “whole” student, attempting to provide many opportunities for students to find themselves. As students develop through their early teen years, this approach is developmentally necessary. As universities pursued well-rounded or holistic education and sought to continue to address the emotional, social, ethical AND academic needs, costs and time for such education slowed entry into the workforce and limited the depth of skill acquisition. It was not uncommon when completing a teaching degree, for example, to have coursework that included a wide diversity of content not related to teaching such as bowling, art and music appreciation, multi-cultural cuisine, or women’s studies.

With the employer as the end-customer, the emphasis becomes customer satisfaction for that employer. Employers’ needs become the demand for the various steps in the supply chain. For talent, the employer demands the education, training, skills and credentials required for the work to be done. The tier suppliers, or in this case educators, work to meet that demand. This method produces employees specifically prepared at a higher level for a technologically-advanced workforce.

It is to be noted that the skills of communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and other “soft skills” are in high demand with employers and should be considered essential content of employability education.

As employers implement the fundamental principles of supply chain management relative to talent, solid communication with CTE programs, community colleges and technical-training academies becomes essential. As with other suppliers, companies need to share detailed job specifications with colleges, meet regularly and provide them with access to relevant experts and technology, discuss their emerging requirements, evaluate their reciprocal performance, and offer data-driven feedback. Industries working together as a collaborative can have greatest impact and influence with these communications.

With a talent crisis such as we are in now, just like with a materials supply chain, getting the numbers right regarding people is vital. Counting numbers of workers in key positions, the number of students being prepared for those positions, anticipating position changes within the business and projecting numbers needed moving forward can be a major step in success for our talent pipeline.

If your business would like to know about talent management, please contact Carol McCaul, Employer Talent Pipeline Lead, at
What Can We Learn From Employment Projections?
On August 10 the Michigan departments of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB) and Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) presented the latest long-term statewide employment projections. State-led efforts to create pathways to high-demand career opportunities for Michiganders were also highlighted. The Michigan Hot 50 and Michigan Career Outlook publications were released with both reports providing information on careers that will be in the highest demand in Michigan through 2030.

The "Michigan’s Hot 50" brochure lists the top high-demand, high-wage careers through 2030. The career information includes title, projected annual openings, hourly wage range, job growth information, and the education or training level needed. Careers making the Hot 50 have the highest value in a combined projected growth, wage and projected number of annual openings score.

The "Michigan’s Career Outlook" brochure features the highest demand jobs based on education level and features the top jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.

It is always interesting to dissect, analyze, and localize the information presented in these brochures for the Great Lakes Bay Region. It is worthy to note that when one is “career shopping,” growth is not the only or top priority for making a career choice, but is it valuable when we look at needs for socioeconomic stability.

According to Scott Powell, director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiative (DTMB) for the State of Michigan, jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree are more likely to see growth that jobs requiring less education. Four of the top 10 fastest-growing jobs require bachelor’s degrees and those four have average salaries between $68,000 and $91,000, while the other six range from $24,000 to $34,000. It is also interesting to note that seven of the top 10 careers of highest growth are in the healthcare field. The DTMB analysis of the data supports the healthcare industry for top growth through 2028 in the State of Michigan, and also includes IT and engineering at the top.

At the center of healthcare is the registered nurse (RN) position. Michigan has a very high need for registered nurses and the projected growth is 8%. The Great Lakes Bay Region has a projected need for 315 RNs annually. An astounding count on found, just for postings dating September 1 through September 25, over 100 postings for registered nurses throughout the eight counties in the Great Lakes Bay Region. This did not include postings for traveling or remote work.

Looking at career pathways with registered nurse at the center (see below graphic), finds that four of Michigan’s top 10 careers of highest growth are embedded within an RN pathway. Combine that information with rapid certification, high demand, financially stable entry positions, high wages, added benefits, career advancement and travel opportunities, all shapes a pathway as close to perfection as anyone willing to work and serve could desire.

The Great Lakes Bay Region feels the pain of these career gaps but while we are ripe with healthcare talent needs in those same areas reported at the state level, we are also rich in the training and educational foundations to support the prolific career pathways healthcare careers provide. Opportunities abound from entry level positions that can be obtained directly out of high school, especially with CTE support, then via a community college program (MMC or Delta) and on to those high paying professional careers through the university route (CMU, SVSU, Alma College). Building these pipelines supports all of the socioeconomic goals for our region.
Xello: An Online Platform for Career Information
The Marshall Plan for Talent was signed into law on June 26, 2018, to improve the state of Michigan’s talent pool. The Plan’s intention was to invest funds to create, expand and support educators and businesses who create innovative programs for high-demand, high-wage careers. Grant awardees submitted five-year action plans to foster business and education collaboration, evolve to competency-based learning, increase workforce planning, and increase career awareness and exploration. So, how is the progress toward those goals four years after awards? How can businesses become involved at this point?

The IT Competency and Career Education Venture Talent Consortium was awarded $465,385 to fund Career Navigators. The Bay Arenac ISD has supported Career Navigators with a robust action plan. Career Navigators have provided much needed assistance throughout the region with Career Exploration at levels elementary through high school. Bay Arenacs’s efforts have focused most prominently on resources associated with Xello.

Xello is an online platform funded for all schools in our region that puts the student at the center of their career planning experience. Students build self-knowledge, explore post-secondary options, create plans, and continually reassess as they take in new knowledge, skills, and experiences.

There are over 300 business profiles in the Xello system for Bay and Arenac counties. These profiles can be accessed by students as they work with Xello at their school as well as at home. Students can become aware, through different company profiles, of that company's products and career opportunities, observe videos and access company websites to learn more about working with them.

Career Navigators, Renee Courier Aumock and Michelle Elliot, are aggressively moving forward with work-based learning goals for students. Companies will be able to add their offerings for job shadowing, company tours, co-ops and internships into the Xello system for students to view.

There will continue to be more options for business interactions with students such as career fairs, special events, classroom presentations, summer camps, and video promotions. There are ways a business can enter at any level of the interest or ability and Renee or Michelle can assist with all of that activity.

Any business that would like to know more about becoming involved at any level with students and Xello should contact Renee at (989-460-9109 (6283)) or Michelle at (989-460-9107 (6281).
How the Going Pro Talent Fund Can Support Your Training Needs
Do you have employees that need basic or advanced training to allow them to be more productive? Would you like the opportunity to offset some of those costs? The Going PRO Talent Fund Grant (GPTF) may be what you are looking for!
GPTF is a competitive grant that helps employers by assisting them in training and retaining current employees and developing the skills of new hires. Training is customized to meet the employers needs and the employees skill levels.
Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! will be presenting information sessions on the 2023 GPTF grant. Employers interested in learning about this statewide competitive grant are encouraged to attend. Seating is limited. 
Please contact Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! Business Services Team with questions at: 1 (833) 531-1945 x6476 or
Shout out to MiCareerQuest for a great event last week!
More to come on the impact of this year's event later this month!