University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Reinvest in Adult Workforce Development

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March 2019

Kelia Washington


A decade of major job loss resulted in declining government revenue, wages, and youth population in Michigan, all of which has place economic strain on the state and its residents. Michigan, once the leader in auto industry manufacturing, now struggles to attract large firms due to many factors, including the lack of job talent. Workforce development policies seek to solve this talent gap by increasing the supply of workers with industry-relevant skills. Past and current workforce development policies, such as No Worker Left Behind (NWLB) and the Marshall Plan for Talent, have attempted to accomplish this goal. Both policies offer key insights into how future administrations should face unemployment and underemployment in Michigan. After analyzing the structure, goals, and the actual and projected impact of both policies, it is recommended that the state invest in improving the affordability and accessibility of adult education and training programs.

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