BFAAM Annual Conference Focuses on Talent and Workforce Development

Are you struggling to find and keep good talent at your business? You’re not alone.  With an unemployment rate hovering around 4.3 percent in Michigan and decades of eliminating skilled trades classes in high schools and trying to convince EVERY student that they need to go to college for a four-year degree, employers across the state are feeling the pinch when it comes to a quality workforce.

 Our industry is no different which is why BFAAM focused a lot of the 2018 Annual Conference on workforce development and helping our member find the talent they need to run their businesses.

Ed Koledo, the Senior Deputy for Talent Development in Michigan’s Talent Investment Agency (TIA) spoke at length about Michigan’s “Marshall Plan” which is Gov. Snyder’s $100 million investment in the skilled trades. The Marshall Plan this is a revolutionary partnership between educators, employers and other stakeholders to transform Michigan’s talent pipeline and redesign the ways Michigan invests, develops and attracts talent in our state. Michigan currently has over 100,00 unfilled job openings and matching the necessary skills of job seekers to these openings is a challenge.

The pillars of the Marshall Plan are to 1) Increase career exploration, 2) evolve to competency-based learning (i.e. provide skills that are needed in the marketplace), 3) foster business and education collaboration and 4) create multiple pathways for job seekers and employers.

The Marshall Plan will promote Competency-Based Education (CBE) in the schools so that students are getting the skills necessary for the job openings of today and in the future.  Workshops are being hosted at K-12 Schools, non-profit organizations, Career Technical Education (CTE) centers, economic development organizations, post-secondary institutions, businesses and Intermediate School Districts for employers and job seekers. Over 1,500 individuals have participated in these workshops.

Koledo also encouraged employers to look at existing resources for talent. “If you’re looking for “talent Development,” an employee pipeline, please remember to look into existing opportunities that may already exist of could be formed through organizations like local school districts, intermediate school districts, MiWorks! Offices, local economic-growth associations, state (Going Pro) and federal apprentice programs, Michigan’s Workforce Development Agency (under the Talent Investment Agency), and the Talent and Economic Development (Ted) Department.  All are great resources and are working towards more collaboration in building our talent needs of today and the future,” said Koledo.

BFAAM is encouraging its members seeking employees to contact our office so we can get you connected with the correct individuals overseeing the Marshall Plan. If you’re interested in learning more about the Marshall Plan and how it can benefit your business, please visit or contact BFAAM.