Jeff Donofrio, Executive Director of Workforce Development for the city of Detroit leads a discussion about current workforce development strategies and future directions of work and Michigan’s workforce. Panelists included Jim Jacobs, President Emeritus, Macomb Community College, Jeannine LaPrad, Senior Fellow, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, and Sharon Miller, CCMP, Michigan Talent Architect, Consumers Energy HR/Learning and Development.
Everybody welcome back I hope you enjoyed the delicious dessert didn't convivial conversations with all of our wise panelists and other guests here and is delighted to see this great rich diversity of people from different schools different parts of the University of Michigan the other universities and people from all over the state of Michigan so welcome to the university and we know that the University of Michigan the diversity is a source of our greatest strength and I think this panel reflects this really quite nicely we have speakers from government higher education nonprofit and corporate You don't normally see all of these people together in the same place but we're delighted that we've managed to do that today they're going to share some pretty great experiences I want to introduce the panel they're talking about current workforce development strategies and future directions are moderator and opening speaker is just on a frio easy executive director of workforce development for the city of Detroit in that role he works with the region's employers foundations educational institutions and community organizations to develop programs that bridge industries skill gaps prior to this working for Mary Duggan staff he was an exact Jeff as an executive at Ford Motor Company and also worked with Sander Levin John Dingell and Jennifer Granholm so welcome Jeff Jim Jacobs is president emeritus of Washington not a sorry.
I forgot our Iowa McComb community college got his Ph D. from Princeton University and he has been with McKone for more than 40 years he's conducted research develop programs and consulted on workforce development and Community College issues at the national state and local level and he is also a lecturer right here at the University of Michigan our school of education so welcome Jim.
Products is senior fellow at the Corporation for a skilled workforce or to being a senior fellow.
She was a C.E.O. for 12 years she spent the last 20 years researching in promoting innovative economic education and social policies and practices that help people successfully engage in meaningful work and lifelong learning and last year and Miller is a Michigan talent architect for Consumers Energy So she represents our corporate sector in this role she leads a statewide effort to engage business and industry and talent development through the use of supply chain management principles in the talent pipeline management system developed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce So you get sort of 4 sectors represented here diverse views diverse backgrounds the format here is a Geoff is going to start us off with the few minutes of opening remarks well and have a discussion sort of question and answer among the 4 panelists for about 30 minutes and then we'll have questions from the audience so following the format before you should have some 3 by 5 card sitting on the tables if you have any questions is right I'm down waving around in the student will stop and pick up your question and pass them on to Jeff so welcome panelists thank you.
Well thank you for having us here and I'm going to try to reserve as much time for the discussion with these really fantastic panelists who are really experts in their fields and also want to make sure that you're part of this discussion too with questions from the audience but what I thought I'd do is just start off with a little bit about what's happening in Detroit so you heard from some really great folks here on the last panel about The View really from the participants side from the jobseekers side and I think that's really important as we look at where the gaps and where were things going you don't really well but let me give you a systematic view so again my name is just on a frio I run workforce development in the city Detroit mayor Duggan's office and actually about 4 years ago took a leave of absence from Ford Motor Company to do this work the Ford Motor Company offers up to 8 years of public service leave for individuals who want to try to better their community and I was able to take advantage of that and what was happening at that time was mayor Duggan and Tom one who's the head of the jobs and economy team the mayor and 2 business leaders Cindy passkey the president C.E.O. of strategic Staffing Solutions and Dave meter who's a vice chair of D.C. energy had come to visit me in Washington D.C. where I was working for Ford at the time and they said we have this huge challenge in the city of Detroit we are 50th out of all 50 of the largest cities in the country and poverty worst poverty rate in the country 40 percent we have we're 50th out of the 50 largest cities on residential employment fewest number of adults employed in our city and that was close to about 47 percent at that time of our belts between the ages of $16.64 we have huge issues with we don't have enough jobs in the city and fact we have 3 residents for every job whereas.
Cities like Atlanta have 2 jobs for every resident we have issues with transportation so that even the jobs we have in the City 2 thirds or 3 fourths are filled by suburbanites coming into the city every year which means that about 2 thirds of our population have to travel outside the city for employment every day and you can imagine right in a city that has such high poverty transportation becomes an issue and a region that doesn't have or hasn't had a history of really working well together on mass transit it becomes even worse and so we started looking at all the various issues that trade had they said and so we want to come back and fix this if you would so a great sure.
So I agreed to come heck for a year and really take a look and try to help the system be able to chart a path forward and then realize or be staying around for as long as it did but the 1st thing we did is we really work with our push for a skilled workforce with you need and Jamie Diamond who had given a lot of money to the city Detroit to help us figure out workforce development So again that public private partnership Jamie had been talking to the mayor about workforce development and what he saw around the country and they funded a study that really laid the groundwork a lot of those those data and statistics I just mentioned were in that study done by the Corporation for a skilled workforce and so we looked at where we place around our peer cities and we said we've got to set some goals right the 1st thing we do is set some goals of how we want to move this system we could try a whole bunch of siloed approaches to solving things but you know that's going to do you know some good but it won't actually move the needle for us so we set our top line goal is to move the number of residents who are employed we knew that that was going to help with poverty we knew that would help with household income and a whole host of other issues and so we said if we were to try to get from what we're 50 right now what would it take to get to $49.00 and that was Cleveland hopefully no one here from Cleveland you.
Don't like so I'll stay right.
But even to get to Cleveland it would take 20000 more Detroiters becoming Floyd he said but that's not good enough for us right we can't just move from 50 to 49 we need to get more into our peer city range and so we look to places like Philadelphia and Baltimore and others and said how do we move from the really the high forty's to the 60 percent range for residential employment and that's about where they were Baltimore and Philadelphia and we set a goal to say that we would need to put $40000.00 more Detroiters to work.
And the workforce board which we have in the city that runs and sets a strategy for work or Spelman is made up of about 50 percent a little over 50 percent employers we have $42.00 members of that board and they hail from some of the largest companies in both the region and the city and we put really C. suite members of their leadership team.
On that board to say OK we're going to do this employers have to be at the table and they have to be helping us with solutions right changing the way that they do business looking at this differently from a perspective of not just all truism right but how do we solve the needs of employers and help make sure that we raise residential I mean at the same time we knew that you know subsequently we would have to track poverty and that would need to go down and household income would and household financial stability would go up at the same time for us to be able to say that we were successful in these efforts so we really then said there's got to be a strategy involved here really and we took 3 pillars 1st there's not enough career training and you know really industry.
Trainings that happen within the city at that time we were training about 500 people every year in industry pathways where we had a about 20230000 unemployed so again not going to move the needle there in any great regard we 2nd said that of course one of the reasons why people are not getting jobs and keeping jobs are all of the host of barriers that exist both for work readiness and then stable employment and career.
Expansion So we have to go after the barriers at the same time and 3rd we have to drive systems changed.
We have to look at both the supply side and the various I think systems that exist at the state local federal level I may hold back an individual from getting a job so you think about professional licensing you think about rules around returning citizens and background that happen at the state level in particular you think about some of the other things that the on the demand side that corporations do that artificially create barriers to work for individuals whether it's making sure that they asked for a associate's degree when really just a high school diploma plus some additional training would do.
Things like that of course we heard about banning the box and really keeping individual criminal records out at a higher rate it's very unfortunate situation so we drove that as our 3rd pillar and all of it had to be underpinned by jobs and really a connection to jobs because too much of what was happening in the system and there were about $400.00 organizations that self identified as being in the work force system and we came in and they were moving the needle and it was more of a training prey approach they were doing really really good jobs and they were well intentioned folks but they could not leverage each other and they couldn't simply do the massive work that need to be done on their own so we started pushing into that so a few of the things I'll mention and then we'll get into the discussion of our panelist but we did things like work with connected and Sean I was here to make sure that our summer youth employment program which was doing a fantastic job expanded because we had to give her pathways and experience in jobs to our youth and so every year now for the last I think 3 years about 8000 Summer Youth have been employed through the city become one of the largest employers in the community we have to do things like invest encourage technologic ation So just for a public schools maybe who are from the region and how many are from Southeast Michigan.
So good money you know the history and the challenges that a troubled schools have had.
And they have 3 career technology schools vocational schools right where there were great career pathways historically from the 1980 S. on when they were built into apprenticeships into vocations into good paying jobs but those schools have really fallen by the wayside and you know the city deferred is experiencing a construction boom of like it hasn't seen in generations and so one of the highest Amanda areas that we have is for skilled trades we heard you know about plumbers being an issue there's only about maybe a couple 100 plumbers in the city of Detroit you know it's incumbent on us to figure out ways to have more of those individuals trained but then also doing the work in the city to help rebuild and so Randolph crew technologic ation Center was the pathway for construction in the city of trade for decades.
Lot of a lot of graduates from Randolph I was a direct line into the apprenticeship programs had fallen from 700 students to 80 during emergency management of to triple the schools they were barely keeping the place open they didn't have a math teacher and we know how important math is to those in the skilled trades so we worked with D.T. energy and a host of employers and the public and private sector to say this isn't right we've got to change the dynamic here so we signed a 10 year agreement with us for a public schools we invested $10000000.00 of funding into renovating that school upgrading curriculum buying new equipment and then we had it not just instructors for the high school program we had an Ivy W. electrical instructor from their Punisher program actually come in and teach high school students but we had adult programs in the evenings and weekends so we went from 80 in that school to 310 high school students the following year and we had a 300 person.
For adults as well during the subsequent year so 600 people being trained we subsequently signed agreements on 2 additional critical education schools so we'll have about 1500 people who are affected by these centers in the coming year we've done things like we put training programs in prison 1st time I've been to prison myself going in and trying to work with prison officials to figure out how it is that we could actually locate some of our training programs in the facility prior to release for individuals so they had a pathway once they got out and what we found in that is that it it was really challenging once someone got out to get them a job we kept digging into the data digging in the data and found that for about 75 percent of those we trained they couldn't get a driver's license so gosh why is that well it was because of a law the state of passed called drivers on civility fees which when you got a ticket let's say for driving around out insurance the state assessed $2000.00 a year for 2 years to close a budget at and that that was leading to if you didn't pay that debt you had your driver's license suspended.
We found that 3 160000 Michiganders had this outstanding fee and $76000.00 to traitors had this so 18 percent of our gulf population had a debt to the state which was causing them not to have a driver's license so we for about a year and a half worked with Lansing with a governor and a bunch of others got that eliminated finally and October of this last year had $600000000.00 worth of debt wiped away in the state of Michigan for folks.
I could go on in this because there are so many barriers there are so many issues that need to be addressed but the point of this is that it takes all of us really leverage each other and it takes the public in the private sector coming together to really.
Find creative solutions are us all problems both for job seekers but for employers as well and so I want to start talking to the panel here about so what they have seen and perhaps a bit of what they see as opportunities and challenges here in Michigan so maybe what you need I could start you know see a story works around the country and has just a fantastic reputation going in and helping workforce development systems What do you see is really innovative dynamic outside of the state of Michigan and maybe what do you see here then that's an opportunity to expand or so just a couple words about my own work my organizations work for the last number of years we have been working with some amazing public sector leaders Jeff and many others doing the work he's describing in the city and there are a number of credible public sector leaders around the state and other places that.
Are alleged to work with or Also I've been doing some work with funding from from Wal-Mart and I have been working and reaching the around the country with both public sector partners and retailers to really dig into what are the barriers to the to retell worker mobility and what is in the company's ability to do differently and what can the public sector the community based organizations in each of those places begin to think about doing differently so there is a need very much to focus on the front end of the labor market and a lot of the opportunities in terms of just hiring.
We also know that if you're if you're going to have an impact on poverty.
Educational attainment and economic security or mobility you you also need to really focus on the people in the labor market that are churning and burning themselves out through multiple jobs and working in some cases and.
Multiple sectors sectors of an economy so part of what I've been also learning more about is what are the opportunities and challenges for focusing on that part of the labor market and what are the private and public sector solutions for working with people who are working the other thing I've been doing a lot of.
Research and work around is in many of these communities where we're working with the retail sector they're not Wal-Mart there are actually a ton of very small and medium sized companies who are in not only the retail sector but hospitality and other parts of our service based economy so we have a lot of small businesses who are doing incredibly important work in communities the direct care workforce we've got child care workers you know we just got so many parts of our economy that are fueled by smaller any size companies and so we've been looking at what are some of the solutions to help those companies when you have Wal-Mart and others who actually do have the resources to make some things happen differently.
So the other thing we've been looking at is.
Also how do we center diversity equity inclusion in this work and I just want to thank the panel that was here preceding us because I feel like you all were embodying what what it looks like for us to have diverse leadership.
In just wonderful wonderful ways and so I think some of the work I'm doing in Minneapolis St Paul where they have 6 sectors of the economy coming together including the government sector as an employer and they are doing 2 things they're saying look we have to address the labor and skill shortages in our region in Minneapolis St Paul and at the same time and we can do this we need to increase equity in hiring in advance and so they are not allowing solutions to come forward that don't do both of those things and and it's hard.
Because you know you've got government manufacturers and others who are saying look we've got real economic constraints to do the things we want to do from a wage perspective or whatever it might be but we're willing to roll up our sleeves and we're really to look differently at for example the government.
Employers and leaders are saying look we will take a look at Legacy hiring policies and practices and if the government can be a leader as a major employer.
So can to our educational institutions in our region and so can the health care institutions and so I think we're just starting to see an interesting ripple effect there when the region takes on the critical economic issues facing companies but also taking on a critical community issues facing a lot of people in that labor market and so I'm really excited about that work and how I think we're on a path here in Washington County to house beater ship stepping into that and I think through the work going on in to train other places the mission we're also seeing opportunities let me ask you just follow up question that because I think one of our challenges if this is all true as I'm by companies.
It doesn't work right it or it might work for a short period of time but it's not going to work over the long term it's really not going to lead to those companies bringing individuals on themselves really giving them for a pathway of how we see Paul or our other.
Regions handling that great question so in the case of the health care sector so I think this is true both and many of them Paul and what I'm seeing happen even in southeast Michigan.
Trinity House on the west side of the state of the great example you know I think they have realized that diversity equity inclusion is a fund is a driver for their organization success across a number of indicators so they not only want their workforce to reflect the communities are trying to serve they just they have data and information that says if we have a more diverse workforce in including you know women in different positions people with disabilities people from different ethnic backgrounds you know and other kinds of diversity that's all good for you know that's what part of our that's driving improvements in all of our innovation so I think we're seeing in health care.
And understanding that that's part of the business bottom line I think other sectors of the economy are also starting to see that as we're you know the labor market is tightening and they're having a hard time finding new workers nontraditional candidates right and you're more willing to take That's right no other options on hiring practices and things like that that's right and so I do think that and there are certainly some leaders in from the business community are showing up because they believe it's the right thing to do and then they bring along their H.R. counterparts and others in their organizations who are also telling them it's not just the right thing to do it's actually it's it's part of it helps us meet a number of our bottom line here and what's what's the consumer's experience so that you guys have been a leader and workforce and trying to think differently about how it is that you create a tail pipeline.
And you know are there those have you looked at the barriers within your own company in trying to address that I mean is that been a real focus of consumers or to actually a great question Jeff and thank you and good evening everybody and.
I want to give just like Janine did background about myself I am a 30 year community college person retired and I have an encore career now at consumers energy there and when we talk about looking at the barriers at the company.
It's not just the barriers that the door it's the barriers once you come in the company and what we've looked at the data when we look at how have we done on diversity and inclusion data we've had diversity office for a long time we spent a lot of money sponsoring a lot of things doing a lot of different things the needle has moved very little in how we're doing and so we started looking more closely at that data and we're looking at best practices and it's an inside job for us we need to change our culture so that when we do bring in people of diverse backgrounds whether it's a veteran a disabled individual or someone from a socioeconomic background their supervisor knows how to work successfully with them and how to coach and how to continue to bring that person to a success point we strive to be a company that wants you to bring your whole self to work and we preach that our C.E.O. talks about that and that's for every level of the organization but it's harder to walk the walk with certain characteristics and so we take I'm in the learning and development division My title is Michigan talent architect so we look at it from an internal and external perspective so some of what we've done internally is we have employee resource groups so we have one focused on people with disabilities we have one for old people.
We have one a no that they have different names that one's called.
General generations I think there's another one capabilities there is one for L G T L G B T Q There's different groups but what we try to do is use them as a pool where we can get a better understanding there's one for veterans.
Where we can understand what are the issues that we're missing on where is it I love what the woman from Wal-Mart said about listening in designing for their world as employees and so that some of the work that we're doing internally extremely you know as a company there's the altruistic agenda but for us that translates into what's our foundation doing because that's their agenda you know and so the foundation funding different efforts from early childhood in reading programs all the way through 1st Robotics in the number of other things that we do in communities all over the state of Michigan is a big part of what we try to do on the agenda.
We also they hired somebody like me I am a lifelong workforce development professional and they knew they wanted someone with that background because for companies than what Jeff's been talking about a partner successfully.
You need to understand the systems you need to understand or force development the vocabulary the ins and outs the funding cycles there's a lot of hoops to jump through if you're going to do it successfully in so they brought in from like me they have also brought in we have a heist a former high school principal we have teachers and counselors that work in I learning in development department that have become part of my talent part I plan a team and what we do is we form partnership programs for our highest most critical in demand positions and we develop training programs that feed directly into internships and permanent employment at the company since I've been there in the 3 years I've been there we've hired $300.00 people $158.00 line workers as of last week which is a job that starts at $60000.00 a year but there's not a line worker in Michigan that doesn't mean more than that you know we have 76000 miles of electric lines that can go out in the storm they have 27000 miles of pipes underground so we hired one $158.00 of the mine workers and we have a Veterans boot camp so it's a 3 week long program where participants come directly out of the military they can be out for as long as they want to as long as they can handle the job physically they go state for Custer in the barracks there it's for a 1000000 comfortable for them and we put that part in with our union they go through a training program that's 3 weeks long if they complete that can pass the physical assassin will bring them in the door and from there they have 6 months where their mentor.
And they are coached and at the end of that 6 months if they do well they to enter and about $30.00 an hour working with nothing more than that training that we gave them.
That's it so yeah yeah we're happy about it it's good Thank you know.
The 2 programs that we've developed we have a 98 percent retention rate in those so it's not just what we did in developing a training program it's what the partners in that process did for us they know how to pull the right people and provide them with the right supports coach them through the education experience and help us to get a person who's work ready because in fact that's my job my job is not you know your job you talked about the conditions in the city of Detroit.
And all the other issues that are there I work for a corporation who's not that's not their job their job is to to provide energy to you all my job is to make sure that there's a talent pipeline of qualified people at the door and that as much as I can make that a diverse qualified pipeline that's what I want to do and so we do all these things on the outside and all these things on the inside but at the door the ticket entry is still being qualified.
I think it's interesting you know because if you don't have people like yourself in these companies who are really pushing the company to reassess how it does business who it's bringing and really trying to look at that you have a tendency to overlook a lot of really obvious errors I'll give you example that we work with our health care systems in the city Detroit and saying OK let's design a training program because that's the issue just to get skills for some entry level jobs we get a whole bunch of people coming in and we got through about a 6 or 8 month process of designing that training program at the end of it we said What is the thing that's going to keep the traders out of this besides skills and they said oh that's easy we can't verify their high school diplomas.
It takes 6 months to actually get a verification that someone has a high school diploma because of some of the issues that your public schools has they have a 1000000 student records there are different buildings you know it's hard to find and so generally what happens is a hiring manager probably just you know passes over the charter because they know it's going to be so hard or they were sent a job offer because they can't wait that long he said My God you know we're working on skills and really what we need to be looking at is just verification of high school almost I would have a huge huge issue.
I think that the magic that happens when a group of employers get in the room together and start talking to each other and to the system is really where a big part of this problem lies and getting them in the rooms is the hardest thing to do get them to stop and say this will help us in the multitude of levels it will invest this time but they have to see it to believe it right they need another business to say to them we got 308 people out of these 2 schools about that you know and then they start to go maybe there's something to this and it's but it's really to the top level leadership of a C.E.O. pushing that down right so.
Just so you understand to we.
We saw the diploma verification issue because a bunch of C.E.O.'s came together funded scanners you know funded a new system to get that taken care of so again if you don't have a top level leadership is just not going to not going to permeate the company Let me shift though to talk about higher education since we're on this wonderful campus and this very expensive building I'm sure.
Named after a lot of people provide a lot of money.
So we have a panel that's obviously stacked with some community college experience but Jim Jacobs is really I think the expert on both higher education community college gym what role those community do community colleges play really with this equity question how did how do you really drive workforce development private public partnerships or community colleges and so much has been said about even just access to college and college debt and the issues with graduation for individuals who are in poverty or have lots of barriers I mean how to communicate all of the approach that out of out of the 4 university system needs.
But I think you start with a couple of important points about not just what the present system is but how we valving what's the future of work what's going to look like and.
A great deal of what Sharon talked about in terms of her company and.
Janine talked about in terms of the questions of how institutions work together it's really needs to be put into a context of what's important for that what's evolving and what's evolving is that the traditional way of looking at training which was something that the companies did in education that's something that schools that are now that has now been combined in in a way that one piece of training is in fact education one piece of education is also training and the community colleges that understand that and can work in that space on those that are going to be successful I would also argue that the 4 year institutions who can understand that combination can also be successful because what's changing in about jobs and what's And I think this is again to put it into a dynamic situation context is is that individual the individual workplace is being altered not just by technology but by work organizations and by the specific demands on companies.
The result is that there's a lot more things going on in the workplace that individuals are learning from it's not just apprenticeship it's all sorts of things that go on on the job to prepare people for that to prepare for their their workplace experience educational institutions need to integrate some of those skill sets and some of those you know very important skills which are sometimes in liberal arts classes but often in technical classes and the community colleges that can do that best can work together both combine the technical specifications with the broader learning issues are those that are going to do well in this situation and if I could just balance it into Michigan for a little bit we have a particular challenge ahead of us in Michigan.
It we have a state where population is not growing as much we have a significant commitment to our schools for young people to make the transition a part of what Jeff was talking about and part of the demands of companies now are going to be how do we take adults adults who have not had any college experience how do we get them into a situation where they can see post-secondary education as an important component for their future.
And that requires that I think something like a community college that really focuses on the needs of adults.
It's not that adults are all that different than young people but they do have different learning strategies they do have different demands on them and that the community colleges that can do that best and understand the depth of the diversity of the adult experience and come up with learning capabilities are going to be the ones that are most successful and for Michigan one of the things that I am very optimistic about is that the new governor is kind of targeted the question of adults and adult education as an important part of our our future education and we're going to need lots of talented people from 4 year institutions to help us figure out how to do this in the most effective way.
And Jim and I both worked on the governor's transition trying to figure out what kind of policy and priority she should be looking at potentially in the higher ed space you know the post-secondary education goal that she set for the state of Michigan which is to have 60 percent of our adults adult workforce with a post-secondary degree by 2030.
You know we've seen that.
You know propose 2 programs really to help achieve that right the reconnect program and the Opportunity Scholarship reconnect being really targeted at those adults who don't have associate's degrees and try to get them into a community college to figure out how we could get them in demand credential and that Opportunity Scholarship which is really that pathway for high school graduates into a 2 year or 4 year these are based off of Tennessee and the Tennessee promise and the Tennessee reconnect program and what we see there is really a challenge with still those individuals who are close to poverty and poverty have you know life issues being able to still be successful and get achieve those credentials and what do you think needs to be driven into the process here if let's say those programs are passed to make sure that we do have folks who are achieving that credential and then building a career out I think the most important part is what goes on up front the wrap around services that are going to be necessary for adults to feel comfortable in higher education institutions.
To have a way in which career pathways can be proposed to have a situation where individuals can work at a certain pace utilize the kinds of technologies and learning systems that we know work.
But put them into kind of a sequence so that individuals can chart their own progress and feel confident about their learning capabilities I mean so much in the past as school been sort of separated from work.
That people who didn't do well in school kind of assume that school wasn't part of work and I think what we're specially going to see in Michigan with the changes that are going to go on in the auto industry at school and work are going to have to be combined in new ways so the task of setting this up I mean.
Certainly the idea of a free 2 year education for an adult is certainly a good draw and I don't think that's going to be it's going to be necessary but it's not sufficient What really needs to happen is that we need to look very carefully at how we are utilizing our current counseling services our career pathways and relying on our companies to really be able to chart this out and let me just say something about this which I think is also a real opportunity and Sharon's company is a good example of this in the past the assumption was that the companies always knew what they needed and just would come out and just say what we need X. kinds of people as you go Jeff you find those people who will hire in reality is Sharon I think you can attest I hate to say this in the business school but business doesn't often know what it's doing that they often.
Don't do workforce planning they were there right now and I want to use a quick example just from my own experience which I I always like to just point this out and it's not a knock on businesses in general but just gives you an example you know we have a calm had a large extensive apprenticeship program etc and we worked with a lot of small manufacturers so the starting wage for an apprenticeship in some of these places was 12 or $13.00 an hour.
We also ran a program from the Department of Labor to train robotics technicians in 6 weeks and they started work at $17.00 a now and when we heard the complaints from the companies that well they couldn't find enough people to work in the apprenticeship program at $12.00 an hour for 4 years and we just said well what do you think if you if you were a person you had a choice of taking a program for 6 weeks to get a $7000.00 an hour job or 4 years a get a $12.00 an hour job which one would you choose and they said well you know we never thought of it that way.
And the reality is that in many cases companies still see training as a cost it's on the cost side it's not it's part of what you try to narrow down it's an add on and don't see it as an investment and I think that those those companies are going to be less and less likely to be successful in the future the question of investment is really important and there's where again just the type back to I think one of the themes that that correctly is being done at this conference questions of diversity sure it's hard Sure it takes time but the question is the investment and what you get back as a result of that and in a state where the population is not growing where we have substantial amounts of adults without any college degrees or even close to sometimes not even a high school degree if we don't emphasize that the wealth of this state in the future for everyone.
Even the students at the University of Michigan is going to be suspect so I think we've seen a resurgence of looking at it it's not just the technology driving it's business organizations it's the way in which companies start to see training as an investment as opposed to seeing it just as a cool script.
Let me do this because I want to get to your questions and if you do have any questions please just make sure to write them down on these cards and someone will be around I think we've got a question up here I want to ask for a span all just for 32nd.
Give me something that excites you and in this space with public sector private sector partnerships and this sort of changing nature of of work and then give me something that worries you.
And we can we can move on that any of us are sure I'd be guided to.
So I think building off of what Jim was speaking to.
There's really an opportunity to redefine roles and commitments and investments from the private sector side the public sector side and I think what individuals are prepared to put into this as well and I feel like we have a great opportunity here in the state of Michigan to even rethink the way we are packaging funding and and policies and practices that support small and medium sized businesses in particular and I think Jim a lot of those small medium size businesses are actually the places where we're seeing work based learning in in play because I think they have to be agile and they have to be sort of interbreeding the learning on the job all the time and so I feel like we can't lose sight of.
The number of those businesses here in the city and I think we've got to think about ways in which partnerships between those companies not just the big ones and the educational institutions could be supported and then the other thing I'm excited about in the city of Detroit you all have been recent King how how the system and how your policies and programs support career coaching and navigation differently and I feel like there's a huge need an opportunity to rethink how we offer career coaching supports and services statewide.
Not necessarily only through educational institutions I think it needs to be made available outside of educational institutions and maybe even outside of some of our typical public these are programs I mean I know I would love a career coach right helping me along I'm sure a lot of people here would say you'd love to be able to talk to somebody even yourself to think about individuals who have to navigate a system that is not very clear and certainly doesn't provide the OK you take this course and you will get this make this watch and here's your next progression that just doesn't exist there or where you think.
What excites me is that there are companies big companies like consumers and censure indeed in rock financial and I could go on and list companies that are now workforce planning they may not have before done that work they're starting to understand it if you're looking to study something that we need more of workforce planning is one of those things that excites me a lot and that there's really a gauge mint that is starting to happen in the business community in the states what worries me is that Michigan has a history of an economy that looks like this and these kinds of programs these kinds of efforts these kinds of things work when it's a tight labor market this is the labor market becomes more fluid it employers go back to their old behaviors and that worries me it doesn't worry me so much of my own company because they're in but I think that there are companies right now that will revert back to what they used to do which is just grab the next available person who can come and who's qualified and not worry about a longer term pipeline strategy so that's only short answer I could keep going but I'm going to stop.
And just quickly I think what's exciting is 2 things one the nature of the collaboration the 1st time people are not only getting together but they're saying we don't have all the answers we we can work those answers out together.
As part of that I think you're going to start to see institutions and particularly in the education area release develop much more sophisticated and dense relationships with.
You know the workforce systems as well as the company.
Danger and I think Sharon sort of said this The danger is it looks good now you know unemployment is relatively low is a huge demand you know I mean in this state like Michigan with the with the population not growing it's in a real interesting bind in terms of future with that future workforce is going to be a question that I think will hover over us is whether we can be consistent over a long period of time.
To make this happen.
And hopefully you know it will be a recession will be a downturn but we need to stay the course and that's one of the things I think that is very very important about meetings like this we continue to move with the same definitions the same ways in which we think about things take the long term person thank you so let's let's try to ask some questions here I think the 1st one it was that we're hearing that managers often times and employers don't understand how to overcome barriers and that they may not be equipped to revive mentorship support and career pathways to their employees how we saw this what could you know the public workforce as private non-profits do I mean I want to take that one.
Career pathway in career coaching is the managers it can be a manager's job in our I.T. department recently we made a requirement that every supervisor have a career planning conversation with their employees twice a year they're looking at one of the training skills that they need to have and then make it available to them when it comes to working with folks who have other barriers that they bring to work I don't know that managers are ever we don't want to turn them into social workers that's not what they're there to do there's a program called employer resource networks or business resource networks we can basically bring a social worker smart mentioned this from that mistake and.
You can you can bring someone who does that and understands the community resources that are available into your organization and they're there confidentially to work with employees and the manager can point you to them what was surprising in the company recently that I was talking to about this that participates in it was that it was not only their low income employees that were needing those services that their middle management and upper management were living on the edge quite often as well now granted the edge looks different at that level but the fact is they still need credit counseling they still need some of the types of supports that were made available through the E.R. And so if you're in.
I think a new tool that's realistic that could really be helpful for companies that dive deep into space just to add I think the H.R. function of companies is going to change.
Or is changing that it isn't just what a person does on the jaw it's the experience that they have in the community and the experience that they have in their families etc So you so you know you take all the issues that we know exist you know code in the outside world they exist inside of companies so you have to have a much different kind of H.R. strategy it's not just H.R. selecting people or a particular job it's handling their experiences and their lifelong learning that's going to go on so I think part of part of the just the sub sure is true here at the at the business school the way in which managers are trained and developed is exceedingly very different in fact you have to act that Ford has an 8 year period period where you can go off and work in the pool in the public sector that's a model that could be worked in many other you have to take a pay cut to do it but you know and.
You think we have examples of from around the country where public funding is going to support supervisors and managers and learning new things and developing tools related or pathways entering work I also think the staffing solution is here and I'm sorry fierce fierce like that's a great interesting model there not just focused on hire you know getting somebody a job they're really trying to figure out how to how to put a different set of services there in front of that business and so we need more gambles like.
Everybody who touches business and industry being really creative about how they're what they're offering I think that's good and you know certainly this is a topic that we go on for a long time about and I think there's a lot of emphasis a need for it I want to switch because there's just a host of questions so there's a couple questions about the robots taking over.
Critical And what are we going to do here what is a real is it going to cost or create new jobs and then how do we adapt them you want to let me to this is my 11 of my favorite areas 1st the most interesting part about this is that you know when we talk about the future of work there's always somebody will say you know you 80 percent of all the truck drivers will disappear in the next 50 years it's that one thing that doesn't disappear is that as so many people talking about the future of work they have a future you know.
Now there's no question that certain jobs disappear and other jobs expand but the issue of even even thinking about this as just a technology driven question is wrong that is it's not an issue of just that that what happens with technology is that it produces different kinds of options and it really depends on how technology is integrated within the companies and how it's you know met matched with human resources cetera for all the people who've Despite been displaced by robotics inside of automobile plants etc It's been a growth of other kinds of jobs in the auto industry and in fact you know one of our challenges in Michigan is that we have too few people one to stand cyber security and networking in artificial intelligence questions and that we're actually importing people from.
Southern California in the Bay Area to help us figure these things out.
That in general the there is displacement but there's also opportunities and the question is how you will both sides of this certainly there are people going to be affected by a robotic technologies but tendencies to over emphasize that and underemphasize the kinds of options you know that that can occur again that in the one area that I think all of us are familiar with the 1st automatic teller machines were introduced to the United States in the 19 late 1970 S. and early ninety's the assumption was that those automatic teller machines would eliminate people out of banks Well the actual actuality is that what the automatic teller machines that is that you could put them in every community and you put banks in every community so actually implement the question of wages though and preparation for that are real questions so let me ask because I think that's that's.
Really a question of adaptability right within an individual so how many people here would say how many people are employed here and not just in a academia learning great things OK Great how are people are employed in the same industry that they started out and OK so much here so most of us have had to adapt right in some way.
Janine how do you see that playing out I mean that adaptability you know I think this is what sort of that reconnect program the the other sort of work we're doing on creating adult trainings even the pipeline into a consumerist where we see this playing out you know around the country.
So just a little into your question but I do know that Wal-Mart invested in that report the brain can see study because I do think there are some real concerns about worker company disc company closure and worker dislocation especially in the retail sector because I think we are seeing some real quick changes and jobs not going away they're very they're changing which in some cases are actually a really good thing and I think there are workers who are realizing that.
You know there is a need for these digital literacy skills there's a need for greater customer service some social the social skills the communication and the need to know have the skills to learn learn on the job learn you know.
Learning and learning to learn in school or learning on the job those are all at the foundational set of adaptability or resilience skills that I think we're starting to see are critical for so many jobs and so the more we see programs like enter grading those sets of skills regardless of it's a program for people to work in manufacture Husker or whatever and we need to see more of that kind of foundational skill building to urge when we're through a quick I'll say that we will not lay off a person because technology has replaced their job we know that person we know they're good high quality worker we're going to work with them to rescale and generally find a place for them and I think in a tight labor market that's what companies tend to do whether it's an entry level worker the high level worker we close a coal fired plant every single person in that plant has a job somewhere in the company for them other piece to it we see human struggle it work we see how hard people work today.
It's it's crazy how hard people work technology can help with that I'm all for it and I think our company our H.R. department looks at it that way reduced human struggle increase safety that's those are benefits to advances in technology and it's not just robots it's digitization it's all the things that I do there there's a very positive upside to it and in this labor market the largest going to cut them loose if they if they need people you know hold on what's familiar and retool them more often and I think a bigger question that we could you know probably it's another conference on is as workers become more productive with technology IT wages fall right do we do we have a subsequent increase in wages then because that's now we've seen as a Sara Lee Price only.
Jim let me and with with this question because I think you have a lot of people in this room who have 4 year degrees or beyond how do you make sure that's adaptable in the marketplace moving forward you know I think that that's a real challenge I mean no there's a tendency in the in the 4 year sector to still see the debris as the key to success.
Degree is part of the key to success it's the degree and what you know inside that degree what kinds of capabilities and adept abilities you have are going to be very very successful so thank you going to start it it is interesting and I just got this to something which I'm sure everybody here you know has you know witnessed you know the scandal that goes on we were all these parents are trying to get their kids into certain schools because you know the school has a high reputation hopefully.
Robotics and the new technologies are going to start to change all of that it isn't going to be with you went to the University of Michigan what did you learn in the University of.
What kinds of things that you studied what kinds of skills that you learned will become important for your success so it's the programs and what's inside those programs and now we have the opportunity with the kinds of big data that we can mean you know I'm cover still is to know that so a degree is important but it's not the sole part of it it's a degree with what kinds of skills and you know you have within that organizational behavior and psychology from the University of Michigan all right 100 you said.
All right well that's going to have to be the last word thank you very much for the time and the and thank you all for being here today to replace.