September 20, 2022 | Employer Talent Pipeline news from around the region
Employers: Marketing Your Business to Attract and Retain Talent
Most businesses have gotten pretty good at marketing their product or service. But, in today's job market, where the competition for talent is tougher than ever, do they also market themselves as employers? Marketing your business as a strong, worker-centered employer, places value not only on your product or service, but on your impact to the community and the economy as a whole.

Knowing what the talent pool wants is necessary to market the workplace.
Employers know how to talk about wage/salary and benefits such as insurance coverage and vacation time, but there are some newly emerging values that can help a business attract available talent. Adapting and marketing to these values can help retain talent as well.

Millennials and Gen Z age workers place a high value on job quality and achieving an optimal work/life balance.

Engagement is important to workplace satisfaction for many of these employees. They seek careers and organizations that allow them to connect to the business, its leaders, their coworkers, and the work they do. Company events to show employee appreciation can help individuals and families with these connections.

In August, Morbark of Winn, MI hosted Employee Night at the Mt. Pleasant Speedway followed by a carnival-themed picnic for employees. Covenant Healthcare of Saginaw hosts several annual events to join employees with community sponsors and volunteers such as the Red Carpet Crumpets and Croquet Tournament and the Covenant Kids Gala. These events provide connections to other employees, with business leaders and the community as a whole.

The next generaation wants to work in communities that offer many opportunities for themselves and their families to engage as well. There are several ways to drive community engagement like, STEM in the Great Lakes Bay Region, provides information and many links to resources that businesses can share with their employees, most with little or no cost, to establish engagement. Located at STEM there are links to Parent Resources, Business Resources, and the MiStem Network, all of which share how to access events and resources to connect people in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The article following this one, highlights links to some of the key offerings on the website.

One note about engagement with the younger generations of workers; while they want engagement, they highly value technical skills. If a meeting can take place virtually, or if work can be accomplished at home, they expect that offer to be made. It places value on their skill and respects their professionalism. This demographic wants employers that trust them to get their work done without micromanaging them.

Environment is also important to workplace choices. Younger generations want to attach themselves to their work emotionally, but they won’t if they aren’t in a safe work environment. The suppression of employee’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, and concerns will inevitably lead to disengagement. A workplace that provides some flexibility, if possible, for scheduled time in office, or vacation time will be considered a bonus. It is not uncommon to hear millennials or Gen Z employees negotiate for better schedules, safer work conditions, or vacation time over wage increases.

Vantage Plastics of Standish prominently addresses their commitment to plastics safety and sustainability on their website. A potential employee researching work at their company will recognize the value of environment and react positively to “Vantage Plastics is committed to operating in a conscientious manner and producing products that are environmentally friendly. We have a responsibility to leave a livable world for future generations.” That claim is backed up with examples and results throughout the website.

Businesses struggling with employee attraction and/or retention have the opportunity to do a little research on the generational commonalities of their talent pool, then take actions to make themselves more attractive as an employer.
Making Community Engagement an Employee Benefit
By helping employees achieve work/life balance and increase workplace culture, regional employers can take a few simple, very inexpensive steps to retain and attract talent right here at home.

Resources on STEM Pipeline are free or have very inexpensive participation. These resources can be shared with employees and their families to achieve more engagement between employees, their employers, and the community.

Clicking on 'Calendar' at the top of the page loads a current monthly calendar of events from across the Great Lakes Bay Region. During the spring, area CTE and other camp registration periods appear on this calendar.

  • A listing of Upcoming Events is an excellent resource to post weekly or monthly on a bulletin board, in employee work-spaces, or newsletters. It provides dates and times activities and events across the Great Lakes Bay Region for employees and their families to be informed of how much there is to see and do. See Upcoming Events – STEM Pipeline
  • Under the Parents and Students tab (Parents and Students - STEM Pipeline) there are resources categorized by different levels. K-8 resources include links to Bedtime Math, Math in the Mail and ST Math, which are all very popular with families. Our daily news is filled with reports of data reflecting the way the pandemic has had a very negative effects on student math achievement. Encourage your employees to “Be Part of the Equa+ion” with their families to actively assist our nation’s goal to reverse that trend. The Parent click includes At-home stem activities which can be printed and used at home as well as articles for discussion topics with older students.

  • Under the Out of School Time tab, click on the STEM Passport (STEM Passport - 2022 - STEM Pipeline). There is a mobile app families can use to explore STEM in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The GLBR is home to a variety of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) destinations and programs. The Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Passport is a learning resource for 26 different hands-on, dynamic STEM organizations and their opportunities for family interactions in the community.

  • Encourage families to follow STEM Pipeline on Facebook and Instagram as well as Great Lakes Bay Parents. Both of these resources share news about events, clubs, career topics and educational programming. Pass along posts to your employees that are particularly relevant to your business or are locally close to you. Here are some sample posts:
Marshall Plan updates, Four Years Later - IT Competency and Career Education Venture Talent Consortium $465,385
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).
2023 Information Sessions
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