If you’re like most folks across Michigan, you’re concerned about the rising cost of public colleges and universities. Or the lack of hands-on training for young people. Or barriers that can prevent workers from finding a decent, family-supporting job in the state.
College. Career. Opportunity. These are the issues that are weighing heaviest on the minds of Michigan residents, according to more than 5,000 participants in this year’s Center for Michigan “Getting to Work” public engagement campaign.
It’s why the Center is hosting three, star-packed “Solution Summits” this fall that anyone who cares about these critical issues would benefit from attending.
The half-day sessions, slated for Grand Rapids, Lansing and Livonia, are can’t-miss opportunities to hear political, education and business leaders, along with top experts, address the most pressing issues identified by Michigan residents and offer policy recommendations that will to improve the fortunes of those who live and work here.
Speakers include Gov. Rick Snyder, the presidents of U-M, MSU and Grand Valley State University, and a range of state and national experts, legislators, business and workplace development executives, and front-line college prep counselors.
The summits are designed to gather reaction to the Center’s new “Getting to Work: The Michigan Public’s Agenda on Career Navigation, College Affordability and Upward Mobility for Workers” report, which will be released the week of Sept. 14-18.
Summit seating is limited so online registration is advised by September 28. A small fee is charged to cover a continental breakfast, lunch, rental space and speaker travel costs. It’s $25 for Bridge Magazine subscribers (Subscriptions to Bridge are free); the fee for non-subscribers is $35.
Summit dates, topics and registration links are as follows:
Monday, October 5, Livonia ‒ Career Navigation Solutions Summit
Presented in partnership with WDET Detroit Public Radio, this event focuses on how to improve college, training and career navigation assistance for Michigan’s young people. Speakers include state representatives Amanda Price and Adam Zemke, the governor’s Education Policy Advisor Karen McPhee, experts from the Michigan College Access Network, Michigan School Counselor Association, current and former College Advising Corps, and regional and national leaders in college and career navigation. The event runs from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at Schoolcraft College’s VistaTech Center, Livonia. REGISTER HERE.
Tuesday, OCTOBER 20, Grand Rapids ‒ Challenges to Upward Mobility Solutions Summit
Held in partnership with Talent 2025, this summit explores ideas to improve Michigan residents’ opportunity for upward mobility and economic prosperity. Expert panelists include representatives from the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Goodwill Industries of Grand Rapids, Butterball Farms, DeWys Manufacturing, Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, Michigan’s Talent Investment Agency and Kent Career Tech Center. The event runs from 8:45 a.m.-12:30 pm, at Grand Valley’s Eberhard Center, Grand Rapids. REGISTER HERE.
Monday, November 2, Lansing ‒ College Value and Affordability Solutions Summit
Held in partnership with Public Sector Consultants, this event is for anyone concerned about the rising cost of college and student debt loads, with a focus on improving college affordability in Michigan. Speakers include Governor Rick Snyder, University of Michigan president Dr. Mark Schlissel, Michigan State University president Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, Grand Valley State University president Dr. Thomas Haas, business and political leaders and national and state education leaders, including from Michigan’s community colleges. The event runs from 8:30 am-2 pm at the Radisson Lansing hotel, Lansing. REGISTER HERE.
The fall summits grow out of one of the largest in-depth citizen surveys on these issues ever conducted in Michigan. The Center’s public engagement campaign included nearly 150 Community Conversations, statewide polls, and targeted online surveys of high school and college students, educators, business owners, and higher education consumers.
“Michigan residents have serious concerns about the often-foggy path to personal prosperity in Michigan,” said John Bebow, CEO, Center for Michigan.
“The report we are about to release includes key public insights about the challenges of career navigation and counseling, the high costs of college and upward mobility today. Fortunately, the public also has promising ideas about what to do about these problems. These conferences will illustrate what the public wants and provide expert insights on how Michigan can address the public’s concerns.”