LANSING – The State of Michigan has launched a web site aimed at encouraging young people to explore careers in manufacturing, what still remains a lynch pin in the state’s economy.
The web site Michigan.Gov/MFGCareers, targets a 12- to 24-year-old audience by featuring techno music, flash animation, a virtual tour of a General Motors plant, interviews with teens, and the state of Michigan’s first blog.
The site was unveiled Wednesday at General Motors Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant by Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth Director David Hollister and Department of Information Technology Director Teri Takai, whose departments partnered in recent months to develop the site. The GM Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant staff and Michigan Manufacturers Association assisted with the launch.
The introduction features historic factory images from the Henry Ford Collection, which are symbolically shattered and replaced with techno music and photos from today’s high-tech manufacturing setting.
“This is not your average state of Michigan website,’’ said Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. “It’s cutting edge design reflects the fact that Michigan is shattering outdated stereotypes about the manufacturing industry. The state is working to prepare a 21st century workforce to fill the estimated 20,000 jobs that are expected to open annually due to retirements of baby boomers. We want students, teachers and parents to visit this site and get a second look at the types of exciting and well-paid careers available now and in the future.”
The theme of the website is New Age, New Look, and New Opportunities. The website highlights career options that are available in a variety of manufacturing settings including automotive, aerospace, nanotechnology, and computers. Job titles featured include human resources, purchasing agents, safety engineers, electricians, and pipefitters.
“With negative headlines about manufacturing plants closing, we don’t want parents and teachers to shut the doors on students, discouraging them from pursuing careers in the industry when there are so many great opportunities available. Manufacturing workers in Michigan are amongst the highest paid and most productive in the state,” Hollister said. “Continued productivity improvements, technological and process improvements in manufacturing are also requiring manufacturing workers of the future to possess higher levels of educational attainment then the industry’s current workforce.”
According to DLEG’s Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives, in addition to the demand to fill openings caused by retirements across the industry, there are industries within manufacturing that are expected to post gains in the 2002-2012 forecast timeframe. The Plastics and Rubber products industry is projected to expand by 8,140 new jobs; machinery manufacturing by 3,600; nonmetallic mineral products manufacturing by 2,390; and chemicals with 1,600 new jobs.
The state’s Careers in Manufacturers website features current salary information with “How Much Do They Make?” For example, an electrical engineer in Michigan makes $75,696 a year. The National Academy of Engineering’s “Engineer Girl!” web site indicates the average starting salary in the U.S. for an engineer with a bachelor's (4-5 year) degree ranges from $36,000 to $50,000. The website notes: “This is significantly higher than salaries for graduates with bachelor's degrees in many other fields. In comparison, lawyers starting out after at least 7 years of school average $45,000.”
The state website also features resources to find “New Opportunities’ in manufacturing including education and financial aid information, job openings and internships.