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Grand Haven Tribune: SMITH: Schools, businesses, unions must align in Michigan’s talent race
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Grand Haven Tribune: SMITH: Schools, businesses, unions must align in Michigan’s talent race

Michigan faces not only a skills gap but a very insufficient pipeline of willing and able workers to fill jobs in a robust economy. Certainly, the continued low K-12 enrollments and the confusing and declining immigration policy leave us wanting for workers.

Equally troubling is the size of the disengaged workforce. Today, the average unemployment time is 40-45 weeks. All the research concludes those unemployed for over 40 weeks are unlikely to ever enter the workforce. This lack of re-entry shows up in the decline in able-bodied 25- to 35-year-old males in the workforce.

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