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The Detroit Region’s Talent Pipeline

Nothing will undercut regional prosperity more than a leaky talent pipeline. Understanding where those leaks occur, and why they do, is a prerequisite to successfully fielding the 21st century talent employers rely on. The Detroit Regional Chamber and like-minded organizations are working to help raise awareness about the issues with this region’s talent pipeline.

First, it is critical to understand that though disparities in postsecondary education outcomes exist between the city of Detroit and the region, the Detroit Region as a whole lags behind the nation in key education measures. The leaks in the regional talent pipeline – where students are dropping off before earning a degree – are not limited to just one stage, but are prevalent throughout the entire pipeline.

With only 47% of regional students who enroll in college persisting to graduate after six years, there is a need to enroll students in postsecondary education but also support them to ensure they earn a degree or credential.

There are 676,545 regional adults who have postsecondary experience but “stopped out” before earning a credential. Reengaging these adults provides a significant opportunity for increasing education attainment.

In 2017, 36% of college graduates left the state within 12 months of graduating. Keeping the educated talent in our state post-graduation will contribute to increasing the population of adults with degrees.

These numbers make a clear case for action. Change is needed to ensure the region’s ongoing prosperity, and the urgency of doing so as only increased in the recession created by the COVID-19 pandemic.