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

Workforce Development Board Passes Resolution to Recognize Work Before and During Pandemic

Workforce Development Board Passes Resolution to Recognize Work Before and During Pandemic

The Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! Workforce Development Board (WDB) and Career & Education Advisory Council (CEAC) passed a resolution at a recent joint meeting to recognize staff and administrative leadership at all five Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! (GLBMW) service centers for innovative work before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution specifically cites:

  • Securing more than $6 million in grants funds to assist with efforts to strengthen the region’s workforce since 2019.
  • Leading the inaugural MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan event in 2019 reaching more than 8,500 students, 1,000 educators, and 100 employers – followed by two years of video talent tours during the pandemic when in-person events were not possible.
  • Serving over 90,000 people (7,000 virtually) during the pandemic.
  • Helping fill more than 23,000 job openings for employers in five counties since 2019.
  • Answering more than 200,000 phone calls to assist the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency during the pandemic.
  • Receiving the Great Lakes Bay Regional Chamber Award for Quality of Life for services rendered during the pandemic.

“Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works quietly helped facilitate and lead innovative talent attraction and retention efforts during the most difficult of circumstances,” says John Kaczynski, executive director of Governmental & Community Affairs at SVSU and WDB vice chair.

According to another WDB board member Erik Rodriguez, public relations director, Saginaw Indian Chippewa Tribe of Michigan, “The organization seamlessly shifted to virtual services to continue serving our region. They pivoted in so many ways to continue meeting the needs of area employers and improving the skills of our labor pool – from face-to-face delivery to online chats, workshops, career coaching, and job fairs. They even created outdoor drive-thru resume drop-off events.”

The resolution also recognized GLBMW’s efforts to secure apprenticeship grants and Going Pro Talent Funds – both mechanisms to “home grow” the talent needed in the region.

Jenny Geno, executive director of career & technical education at Saginaw Intermediate School District, read the resolution into the record at the joint meeting, adding that building a future workforce is critical for this area. “Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! is committed to building a talent pipeline for employers and — despite COVID-19 — has found creative ways to link students with working professionals and employers so students better understand today’s workforce,” she explains.

The joint meeting included private sector employers on the WDB along with career & technical leaders who sit on the CEAC.

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