, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development (TED), hosted a discussion about the lack of qualified STEAM talent to fill job openings in Michigan during his session, “Upping Michigan’s Talent Game: Attracting and Retaining STEM Professionals
” at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference on Thursday.
“As many of you know, we lost about a half-million Michiganders during the recession, and they did not come back.” Curtis said. “We need to attract people to Michigan.”
Curtis shared the findings of TED’s most recent research on talent retention and attraction. According to this research, the biggest barriers preventing people from relocating to Michigan are a lack of job awareness (Michigan is seen as a “single industry” state) and a persistent negative perception of Detroit as dangerous and crime-ridden. 36 percent of recent graduates from Michigan’s public colleges and universities have left the state.