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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Talent Investment Agency urges students to explore exciting skilled trades careers on Manufacturing Day

National observance is a great time to look to the future

October 6, 2016 - Michigan is filled with opportunities for rewarding careers in the skilled trades, especially within the manufacturing sector, and the state Talent Investment Agency encourages students and job-seekers to use Manufacturing Day as a way to learn about these exciting options.

Manufacturing Day will be observed nationally on Friday, Oct. 7. It is an effort by U.S. manufacturers to raise awareness of the industry's importance and to highlight the demand for skilled talent. Manufacturing Day is especially important to Michigan, which is among the top three states with the largest manufacturing concentration.

"Michigan and manufacturing go hand in hand," said Wanda M. Stokes, director of the Talent Investment Agency. "We have a proud manufacturing past and an exciting manufacturing future. We also have a huge demand for skilled trades talent in many industries, including manufacturing. These are cutting-edge jobs that pay well, demand skill and creativity, and open the door to lifelong careers. So if you want to turn your passion into a profession, please take time to learn about these great opportunities in every corner of our state."

Manufacturing directly employs more than 604,000 people in Michigan, according to the Michigan Manufacturers Association. It is critical to industries such as automotive, metals, food and beverage, bioscience, defense and furniture.

Career opportunities in manufacturing include engineers, designers, machinists and computer programmers.

Gov. Rick Snyder is leading the charge in Michigan to help employers fill the thousands of skilled trades jobs that exist. He created the Talent Investment Agency in 2015 to connect skilled trades talent with employers, which is vital to continuing Michigan's economic comeback.

The Talent Investment Agency and its partners offer resources to help people learn about - and find - skilled trades jobs, including:

  • Pure Michigan Talent Connect at As the state's official labor exchange, Pure Michigan Talent Connect lists more than 100,000 available jobs. Job-seekers can upload or build their resumes in the system, search job postings and learn about education requirements and skill development. There's also a Just for You page with specialized information for recent graduates, older job-seekers and those who are changing careers. Other features include a page dedicated to the skilled trades and a section designed for veterans. There's no cost to use the site.

  • Work-based learning initiatives such as the Skilled Trades Training Fund and the Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) program. The Skilled Trades Training Fund provides competitive awards that allow employers to provide short-term training that leads to an industry-recognized credential for participants. MAT2 is similar to an apprenticeship program, with students alternating between classroom instruction and on-the-job training.

  • Michigan's Hot 50, a list of occupations most in demand, along with the projected number of job openings, the median hourly wage and the expected demand for each job through 2022. The analysis is prepared by Michigan's Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives.

  • The bureau also lists real-time labor demand snapshots for each of Michigan's 10 Prosperity Regions.

Visit for more information on the Talent Investment Agency.