STEM Employer Talent Pipeline

Driven by Employer Demand

The Great Lakes Bay region has focused its efforts on the key findings related to the first of the four requirements for STEM Impact report. Specifically, the report urges the creation of a robust STEM talent pipeline driven by employer demand and cites the following key findings related to this goal:

  • Economic growth is constrained due to challenges finding qualified STEM talent.
  • Employers struggle to find STEM talent due to a lack of technical skills, soft skills, and required experience.
  • It is difficult to get a clear picture of the region’s talent needs because of a lack of transparency around current and future (short-term) demand.
  • Employer job expectations are confusing due to a lack of common language used across industries and between industry and education. (STEM Impact Initiative, 2014, p. 6)

Network Success

The GLBRA STEM Network has now been operating for two years. The Network leaders have worked diligently on behalf of GLBRA to nurture these new entities. As a result, relationships between Network members have been strengthened and activities have been focused on responding to the GLBRA challenges identified above.

In addition, two significant work products have been produced:

  • The Employer Toolkit from the GLBR Network at Mid (see link in sidebar), and
  • The DACUM analyses in nursing and welding from the GLBR Network at Delta.

The GLBR Alliance may justifiably count as a further success the proposals set forth by the Network. These proposals were evidence that the Network members were prepared to continue their work with GLBR Alliance, infusing STEM innovation into the regional culture. Each Network proposal was employer driven and each responded to the key challenges identified in the STEM Impact report.

Contact Us

Carol McCaul

Director of STEM Employer Talent Pipeline

(989) 386-6622 x180


Local Businesses Support Student Success

Alro Steel took the initiative to begin building relationships between local manufactures and area schools. A group came together for presentations on the need for more collaboration. With JD Metalworks, StageRight, Melling Products, and Future Mold, students from 5 different districts came for tours of the facilities. Further development lead to Alro Steel, JD Metalworks , StageRight and Ed Hubbel from Clare High School creating a “rotating co-op” program. Each manufacturer would take two students for six weeks. At the end of the six weeks, the students would move to the next location. The understanding was that the students would be fully immersed in the manufacturing company.

At Alro, the students would spend their time in safety training, on-boarding, soft skills, and the Alro “culture” (total customer service). The departments they worked with included: Saws, Tube Lasers, Plate Lasers, Material Handling, CAD/Engineering and Sales.

JD Metalworks committed to working with the students to prepare them for the real world, working on their soft skills, attendance, work ethic, attitude, and communication. Stageright introduced the students to new technologies and teamwork.

At the end of the experience each location choose a single individual after completed applications and interviews to return the following semester. The student would choose the area that appealed most to them to spend 18 weeks. They had to follow work rules, attendance rules, and be part of the host family. They usually had nicknames within the first two weeks, so they fit in very well! During this time, we worked with the co-op coordinator to be sure milestones were being met in accordance to their plan.

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