Ten Ways to Help Create Skilled Workers
Employers are the critical element in workforce development. As an employer, you can help "grow" a skilled workforce for your business and for Michigan's economy by getting involved in the career development of your future workers.
You know the skills your employees need. By getting involved in educational and training activities with students, educators, parents, and job seekers, you'll encourage development of the workplace skills your business needs. At the same time, you'll be helping students and workers plan for and succeed in their careers. When you get involved, everybody wins!
Here are some ideas:
Sponsor internships. They're a great way for future workers to learn about your business and the skills required for a full-time job. At the same time, you have the opportunity to train and evaluate a possible future worker. Here are two resources:
- Contact Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) for information about internships, job tryouts, and on-the-job training programs. Each year, MRS assists more than 7,000 Michigan residents with disabilities into careers.
- Contact the Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI), the second-largest comprehensive rehabilitation training center for adults with disabilities in the nation, for information about internships, job tryouts, and on-the-job training programs. Disability-related tax credits and deductions are available to qualifying businesses.
- Get involved with your local schools:
- Collaborate with educators to develop an integrated curriculum based on academic standards and real-work experiences.
- Offer schools and students as many work-based learning opportunities as possible, such as plant tours, mentoring, job shadowing, and non-paid work experiences.
- Serve on a school improvement team.
- Visit a school as a speaker or mock interviewer.
- Be a partner with a school by donating equipment and sharing training.
- Serve on a committee to evaluate curricula.
- Offer teacher/counselor internships.
- Recruit other businesses to work closely with schools.
To get contact information for your local school district including administrator names, phone numbers, and mailing addresses, log on to the Michigan Department of Education's school database (Michigan Education Information System).
- Offer School-to-Registered Apprenticeships with your business. Employers who participate in the program and meet the eligibility requirements qualify for a tax credit of up to $2,000 annually for every registered apprentice trained.
- Refer students or job seekers to Operation Fast Break to help them upgrade their reading, math, basic computer, and employability skills for entry-level employment or college. You pay no fees.
- Interview Operation Fast Break graduates for possible employment, with no obligation. You pay no fees.
- Contact your local Michigan WorkKeys Service Center (www.act.org/workkeys/centers.html#MI) for information on how you can integrate WorkKeys into your training and hiring systems. These centers are licensed to provide job profiling, consulting, and WorkKeys assessment services throughout the state of Michigan.
- Contact Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) to save on-the-job training dollars. MRS can reimburse you for part of the costs associated with training a new worker referred to you by MRS or access other on-the-job training programs that could offer you a reimbursement. If your business qualifies, and many do, MRS can help you obtain disability-related tax credits and deductions available to businesses.
- To find qualified candidates for current job openings, contact your local Michigan Works! (www.michiganworks.org) agency. You can also post jobs and view resumes online on the TalentFreeway (www.TalentFreeway.org).
- Learn about Michigan's Career Preparation System and how Career Pathways are being used in Michigan's schools.
- Learn about the Michigan Technical Excellence Program, the state's industry-led skill credentialing and quality management initiative for Michigan's technical education system.