Serving Bay, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, & Saginaw Counties

Employers WOW Students at Inaugural MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan

MiCareer Quest Middle Michigan 2019
MiCareer Quest Middle Michigan 2019

They arrived by the bus loads over a six-hour time period… climbed on machinery…pounded nails…talked cyber-security with state troopers…spray painted in  virtual reality…drew blood…performed agility exercises in full firefighter gear…rode to the ceiling of SVSU’s Ryder Center in a scissor lift…asked questions while cleaning teeth on a simulated dental patient…and more!

Are they the new talent pipeline?

Creating a new talent pipeline is exactly what 100 employers and nearly 500 employees were hoping for when they engaged with 10,000 students from 40 school districts in 11 counties on October 30 at SVSU’s Ryder Center.

The goal of MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan 2019 was to showcase careers right here in Michigan on a scale never achieved before in this area. Less like a job fair and more like a hands-on extravaganza, MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan gave employers an opportunity to create a future talent pipeline for high-demand positions.

“We’re all here for the same reason,” says Phil Barnett, IBEW Local 876. “We’re looking for good, new workers…a whole new workforce. The baby boomers are retiring in droves. We’ve got to replace them and we have to do it right.” 

Like Barnett, most employers believe it is essential to expose students to real jobs out in today’s work world, helping young people see how their passions align with careers and making them aware of steps to take NOW – like CTE courses – and future education and training options.

“If we can find the right people at a young age, we’ve got them for a career. That’s a win-win for everybody,” Barnett explains.

“Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! was honored to co-host this inaugural event, says Chris Rishko, CEO. “Together with Michigan Works! Region 7B, we are encouraged by both employer and school participation. The Ryder Center was packed! Clearly, we all need to work together to prepare young people for successful futures here in our state, and this event allows us to do that annually.”

Employers who participated in MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan 2019 began planning and collaborating back in February. Divided into five industry sectors – advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, construction, health sciences and information technology – the event required companies to work together to showcase their industry, create engaging exhibits, and focus on high-demand occupations.

Education and training providers were also on hand to guide students on nearby training opportunities for many of the occupations on display.


Ninety percent of those who participated say the event met their expectations and would participate again in an effort to continue building a strong talent pipeline for the region.

What participating employer liked most was:

“Openly sharing ideas and collaborating with other companies”

“Everyone working together and volunteering their time for kids”

“The number of students and their excitement”

“Innovative thinking”

“Meeting a ton of kids”

“Hands-on interaction with students and talking to them one-on-one”

Here’s what kids had to say about what they liked best:

“That you could actually do stuff and get in stuff”

“Hands-on things”

“Having fun while learning about jobs that I might want to go into”

“Displays that were so engaging and almost felt like it was a real situation”

“Exploring multiple careers instead of just a couple”

Teachers and counselors say MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan was “an amazing opportunity for hand-on learning!”

Planning for MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan 2020 will begin soon. If you think your company would like to participate either as an sponsor, planner, or exhibitor, visit, contact your Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works business services representative, or email Kristen Wenzel at

Thanks to our MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan 2019 Sponsors!

Platinum Sponsors

Platinum Construction Sponsor

Platinum Health Sciences Sponsor

Platinum Premier Event Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Gold Lunch Sponsor

Gold Lunch Sponsor

Gold Student Backpack Sponsor

Gold Advanced Manufacturing Sponsor

Gold Construction Sponsor

Gold Student Transportation Sponsor

Gold Student Transportation Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Silver Construction Sponsor

Silver Advanced Manufacturing Sponsor

Silver Advanced Manufacturing Sponsor

Silver Advanced Manufacturing Sponsor

Silver Advanced Manufacturing Sponsor

Silver Health Sciences Sponsor

Silver Health Sciences Sponsor

Silver All Sectors Sponsor

Silver All Sectors Sponsor

Silver Student Snack Sponsor

Silver Media Support Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors

York Repair

Bronze Advanced Manufacturers Sponsor

Kapex Manufacturing

Bronze Advanced Manufacturing Sponsor


Bronze Advanced Manufacturing Sponsor

Great Lakes Bay Manufacturers Association

Bronze Advanced Manufacturing Sponsor

Roll Rite

Bronze Advanced Manufacturing Sponsor

Mid Michigan College

Bronze Advanced Manufacturing Sponsor

Michigan Agricultural Commodities

Bronze Agribusiness Sponsor

Michigan Sugar

Bronze Agribusiness Sponsor

Spence Brothers Construction

Bronze Construction Sponsor

The Institute for Excellence in Education

Bronze Education Sponsor

Kirtland Community College

Bronze Education Sponsor

Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital

Bronze Health Sciences Sponsor

Dorsey Schools

Bronze Health Sciences Sponsor


Bronze Health Sciences Sponsor

Davenport University

Bronze Health Sciences/IT Sponsor

Alpena Community College

Bronze IT Sponsor

Morley Companies

Bronze IT Sponsor

Frankenmuth Insurance

Bronze IT Sponsor





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