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Detroit 2030: From Education Crisis to Talent Hub

December 9, 2019
Education and Talent’s Crucial Impact on Detroit’s Economic Growth

Last week, during State of the Region’s “Detroit 2030: From Education Crisis to Talent Hub,”  experts discussed the importance of education along with talent attraction and retention in relation to Detroit’s continual progress, and the necessity to train today’s talent for jobs of the future to ensure steady economic growth.

The War for Talent: A Global View with Kelly Services’ George Corona

Over the last decade, the shifting global talent landscape has proven a challenge for businesses as they struggle to keep up with digital disruption, aging workforces, and widening skill gaps.

“The biggest challenge to global growth is having access to talent,” said keynote speaker George Corona, retired president and CEO of Kelly Services, Inc. “If you hope to survive, you’re going to have to change.”

The war for talent is a product of companies, regions, and countries competing for the same talent pool. Businesses must find different ways to approach the workforce, changing social norms, and technology’s influence on the workforce.

Technology’s significant and disruptive impact is changing the skills required to compete in the workforce due to innovations like Artificial Intelligence. By 2022, 133 million new jobs will emerge meaning the global workforce will have to be reskilled to meet those new needs.

“The number one thing Detroit has to do to avoid a slow-growth future is to retain and redeploy workers at scale to meet talent needs of the companies of the future,” Corona said. “Together we have a responsibility to change the course of our future and invest in the talent we have.”

Detroit’s Talent Market: Now vs. the Future

At the local level, starting talent development in K-12 by investing in programs and mentorships dedicated to learning tech skills will help Detroit’s students qualify for jobs of the future, creating opportunities and benefiting the economy.

“Five years from now, ten years from now, those students will be prime candidates to work for us,” said KimArie Yowell, vice president of talent development for Quicken Loans. “We’re competing with Ford, we’re competing with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, so we have to think differently about how we’re doing that.”

Post-secondary attainment is also vital for the future of the region. Companies must tell their legislators how critical investing in talent is for companies in the present and future, said Brandy Johnson, advisor of post-secondary education and workforce development for the State of Michigan.

“We need, as business leaders, to say we’re going to do this,” said Frank Venegas Jr., chairman and CEO of Ideal Group. “We’re creating these opportunities; we’re creating successes all over.”