There’s help available for returning citizens – the many thousands who are re-entering society each year after serving time in prison – as they try to adapt and adjust to life on the outside. At a small program held in Northern Michigan last fall called Trauma Camp
Michigan’s population is at a crossroads. Ranked 49th out of 50 states in terms of population growth, Michigan has been struggling to attract new people and retain its residents, and the implications for the state’s economy and prosperity could be dire. According to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 43,000 people moved out of Michigan between 2020-2022.
The Detroit Regional Chamber is gearing up to host the 2024 Detroit Policy Conference on January 11 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel. The annual gathering, presented by the Detroit Regional Chamber in January each year, draws hundreds of business and policy leaders. This year’s conference will explore initiatives and policy strategies that could bolster the state’s population and make Michigan an alluring hub for talent and business development.
In Michigan, roughly 22% of the state’s formerly incarcerated population end up back behind bars, but education can have an impact on recidivism. A study from Emory University shows that recidivism rates drop to less than 14% after earning an associate degree, down to 5.6% after earning a bachelor’s degree, and nearly 0% with a master’s degree. More opportunities for returning citizens to earn higher education degrees became accessible in July when Federal Pell Grants became available to the incarcerated again.
Michigan has been suffering from brain drain, the loss of in-state college graduates to other states after graduation, according to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. Washtenaw Community College’s FAME program — the Michigan Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, a work-and-learn program between the college and advanced manufacturing employers, has been taking steps to help the state change its trajectory. There are several FAME chapters across the nation; Washtenaw Community College started the first Michigan chapter in January.
The Blackbottom Group has launched an innovative program, the EV Automotive Mobility Program, that equips Detroiters with the skills necessary for jobs that will soon be in high demand. The Program offers hands-on training in the maintenance and repair of electric vehicles, as well as education in internal combustion engine technology, in an effort to bridge the gap and address the racial disparity within the electric vehicle (EV) industry.
Only roughly 2% of EV owners are Black, a statistic often attributed to vehicle costs and a notable lack of charging stations in predominantly Black neighborhoods, often referred to as “charging deserts.” The racial disparity within the EV industry is not just about car ownership; it extends to broader implications for public health and economic opportunities.
Amidst a broader backdrop of population stagnation in Michigan, an American Muslims Town Hall at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, organized by the Growing Michigan Together Council (GMTC) and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), brought together council workgroup members, policymakers, advocates, and community leaders to delve into the critical issues shaping Michigan’s future. Led by Michigan’s first Chief Growth Officer Hilary Doe, GMTC council and workgroup members were there to gather ideas and develop recommendations for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on how to grow Michigan’s population.
With Michigan’s population on the decline, looking at each generation’s impact on the state’s economy becomes paramount to seeing how policymakers and other stakeholders can turn the population around.
As the baton of the workforce is passed from one generation to the next, Generation Z emerges as a powerful force, bringing their unique perspectives and aspirations to the table. Born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, Gen Z is approaching higher education and their future careers with a fresh mindset, seeking practical skills and hands-on experiences that will empower them in an ever-evolving job market.
Gen Z also remains optimistic for a future where their work aligns with their passions, enables positive societal impact and fosters constant learning. Statistics from a Deloitte and Network of Executive Women (NEW) poll show that 77% of Generation Z said they would prefer to work for a company that shared similar values.
While many factors may influence their career decisions, including opportunities elsewhere, a significant question remains: Will Michigan’s Gen Z population continue to call the state home, pursuing their dreams here and contributing to the state’s prosperity?
Three members of Generation Z — Brooke Snow, Samantha Chiang and Kendall Murray — sat down with One Detroit producer and Future of Work host Will Glover to talk about their hopes for the future, the types of jobs they have been exposed to in their K-12 careers, and whether they will stay in Michigan after graduation.
One Detroit and the Michigan Learning Channel hosted a Future of Work Town Hall “Gen Z in the Workforce” at Marygrove Conservancy. | Photo by Jonathan Shead, One Detroit
This conversation comes from One Detroit’s Future of Work Town Hall “Gen Z in the Workforce” and continues One Detroit’s cumulative, ongoing conversations involving the future of work and workforce development in Michigan.
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