MI manufacturing industry seeks to close skills gap

Nov 20, 2014

Credit www.camw.org/

The Lansing area, like much of Michigan, has been shaped by manufacturing. But the industry has taken a beating in the past 13 years. The state has lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs since 2001. After years of cuts, though, the industry is starting to make a comeback here in mid-Michigan.

GM plans to expand its Delta Township factory and build a brand new $174-million stamping plant near its Grand River assembly complex.The Canadian auto supplier Magna also has plans to build a new plant and expand its existing one. Those projects alone are expected to add hundreds of new jobs. But will workers have the skills to fill those positions?

Many companies say there is a gap between the kinds of jobs available in manufacturing today and the experience and education of job seekers. They say that’s led to unfilled positions and stunted economic growth. Bridging that gap is the goal of a jobs fair put on by Capital Area Michigan Works today and tomorrow.

Current State talks with Edythe Hatter Williams, CEO of Capital Area Michigan Works, and Michelle Cordano, executive director of the Capital Area Manufacturing Council.