When the Great Recession hit in 2008, the reflex reaction was to try and find work for the millions of people freshly out of a job. It now appears that a better reaction would have been to examine how the economic downturn changed the job market and find the best way to meet the new economy's new needs.
"A lot of times people say we have so many people unemployed. How do we get them working?" says Lisa Katz, executive director of the Workforce Intelligence Network
. "It's not that simple."
The Workforce Intelligence Network was created a year ago to help solve the unemployment problem in Metro Detroit. The downtown Detroit-based organization and its staff of five people are focusing on helping train people caught in the middle of the recession to fill the jobs in growing sectors, such as software, IT or health care.
It recently came out with its own report on how to start effectively tackling the problem. The Working Smarter report highlights how acquiring the right talent is the top challenge local employers face in both the short- and long-term. The report acknowledges the coming challenges, such as an aging workforce and the labor market that demands more technical experience. It also sheds light on how the region needs to focus on developing its young generation to help fill those needs, making Metro Detroit competitive in the 21st Century economy.
"If we don't address this we will short circuit our future growth," Katz says.
Source: Lisa Katz, executive director of the Workforce Intelligence Network
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.