New campaign aims to fill 545,000 professional trade jobs

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More than half a million professional trade jobs will be available by 2026. That’s why the Talent and Economic Department of Michigan, also known as “TED” started a new campaign. It’s called “Going Pro.”

The people behind it say it’s one of the most ambitious statewide education and awareness campaigns in the nation.

“We have no shortage of hard-working people. We have no shortage of intelligent people. We have no shortage of talented people,” Michigan’s Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. said.    

Lansing area leaders are working to bring awareness to get these people interested in high skilled professional trades. 

“There is a big gap to fill, but we think that presents an opportunity,” Lt. Governor Gilchrist said. 

That’s where “Going Pro” comes in. 

“This is going to benefit people who are entering the workforce, also people who want to change their position in the workforce as well,” Gilchrist said. 

The campaign aims to help Michigan employers fill an estimated 545,000 jobs coming open through 2026, specifically in careers in construction, manufacturing, healthcare, automotive, information technology and other high-skilled professional trades.

A professional trade is a job that requires not necessarily a four-year degree but requires some post-secondary training,” Stephanie Beckhorn, Acting Director for the Talent and Economic Department of Michigan said. 

She said the number one issue employers are facing is a lack of talent. 

“We have a real challenge and that’s why we’re launching the going pro in Michigan to get the word out to fill those jobs. We hope by the end of 2019, 90 percent of Michiganders will be exposed to this. We want there to be dialogue, we want there to be excitement,” Beckhorn said. 

She said many people don’t think about these career paths because of false perception. 

“They’re dirty jobs, they don’t pay well, it’s really hard manual work and that’s not the case,” Beckhorn said, and she hopes this campaign will help change that. 

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