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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Pathfinder, Michigan's new online career exploration tool, wins Excellence in Technology Award

LANSING, Oct. 24, 2017 — Pathfinder, the state’s new state-of-the-art online career exploration tool designed to address the need to increase the number of Michigan residents with high-quality, in-demand degrees and credentials, was recognized by the state of Michigan with an Excellence in Technology Award on Tuesday.

Pathfinder is a free, first-of-its-kind-in-Michigan tool that uses current labor market information, longitudinal wage data and other institutional data and metrics. It allows people to better match skills to career paths and jobs.

Pathfinder is a the result of a collaborative effort by the Talent Investment Agency which is part of the Michigan Department of Talent & Economic Development, the Department of Technology Management and Budget, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan College Access Network, Michigan Virtual University, Michigan Works! agencies and others.

“So many people came together to create this tool that will help students, parents and jobseekers get the information they need to make decisions about the future,” TIA Director Wanda M. Stokes said. “I’m thrilled that our team is being recognized for its work. But I’m even more excited for the people who will be able to take advantage of this innovative tool.”

The Michigan Excellence in Technology Award highlights innovative work of information technology professionals in state and local government and are presented at the annual Michigan Digital Government Summit. The awards were first presented in 2005.

The project to develop the Pathfinder career exploration tool kicked off in September 2016. Pathfinder was funded with state funds and federal grants and developed with internal state government resources to provide:

  • Michigan-specific education and occupation information;
  • Return on investment information that indicates the investment in education and employability data that is available so users can make informed education and career decisions;
  • A complete training path picture when a career goal is chosen, assisting the student/job seeker in creating plans for a complete career path

Pathfinder is designed to provide real-time, value-added information for users to make more informed decisions on education and career opportunities. It supports numerous state goals:

  • TIA’s commitment to customer-focused services by engaging citizens early about opportunities.
  • Michigan’s focus to attract and retain qualified talent to fill targeted industry skills gaps.
  • Coordination with the state’s “Going PRO” campaign to improve perceptions about Professional Trades occupations through highlighting these careers and showing the benefits of entering a skilled trade.
  • MDE’s commitment to becoming a top 10 education state within the next 10 years and strategic goals to improve college/career readiness and create a strong alignment and partnership with applicable stakeholders to ensure an informed, prepared and quality future workforce.

Visit to try out Pathfinder.