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TED Launches “Choose Michigan” Campaign to Showcase Jobs and Attract Millennials

Roger Curtis, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development (TED), hosted a discussion about the lack of qualified STEAM talent to fill job openings in Michigan during his session, “Upping Michigan’s Talent Game: Attracting and Retaining STEM Professionals” at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference on Thursday.

“As many of you know, we lost about a half-million Michiganders during the recession, and they did not come back.” Curtis said. “We need to attract people to Michigan.”

Curtis shared the findings of TED’s most recent research on talent retention and attraction. According to this research, the biggest barriers preventing people from relocating to Michigan are a lack of job awareness (Michigan is seen as a “single industry” state) and a persistent negative perception of Detroit as dangerous and crime-ridden. 36 percent of recent graduates from Michigan’s public colleges and universities have left the state.

More than 70 percent of Midwestern students are likely to consider moving to Michigan if the right job offer came along. And while the right job is the highest factor, they also consider quality of life and the ability to make a difference critical factors, too. Curtis said there will be more than 800,000 unfilled jobs in the state by 2024.

To capture some of that talent, TED is launching a “Choose Michigan” campaign. Choose Michigan strikes a balance between work, live and play, knowing that the target audience of millennials wants more than just a job.

“Retaining talent is one part of the equation,” Curtis said. “We also must attract talent to our state to fill the current and future talent needs. Choose Michigan rounds out our robust plan to become the world leader in the most and best talent for businesses.”

Key Takeaways:

  • The “Choose Michigan” campaign will launch in August and is designed to educate youth on the unique, high-tech jobs that are in Michigan.
  • The campaign’s webpage will feature the best Michigan has to offer in culture, amenities, and more. TED is recruiting local community organizations like Hello Michigan in Grand Rapids to collaborate on the campaign.
  • The campaign will target college students and millennials through video, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
  • The pilot program will be tested in three cities with similar history and socioeconomic features as Michigan: Pittsburgh, Chicago and Madison.
  • The campaign will run through September 2020 as a component of Gov. Rick Snyder’s Marshall Plan.

“Michigan was the comeback state, but now we’re back and have to continue moving forward,” Curtis said. “We need to be loud and proud and share the good things about our state with the world.”