In Michigan
6:24 am
Fri April 3, 2009

Lansing area braces for worker shortage

East Lansing, MI – Kevin Lavery, WKAR Radio News
Local economists say the Lansing area workforce will decline once the state climbs out of recessions.

A study by the group 'Capital Area Michigan Works' finds the region's "replacement gap"--the inability to replace retiring workers with younger ones--is nearly five times the national average.

Between 2000-2007, the region's population growth rate lagged significantly behind cities such as Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.

Sheila Dunham is the director of career services and technical education for the Ingham Internediate School District.

She wants to help students stay passionate about their skills to keep them from leaving Michigan after they graduate.

Economists say making higher education more affordable is key to improving the region's ability to attract and retain new workers.