Sharon Miller, Vice Chancellor – External Affairs for Oakland Community Colleges, and Bill Sleight, Director for Livingston County Michigan Works! Agency and chair of the Southeast Michigan Works Agency Council, have been re-elected as co-chairs of the Workforce Intelligence Network Board of Southeast Michigan.
WIN is a collaborative effort between eight community colleges, seven Michigan Works! Agencies, and various other academic, economic development, and other partners. Its mission is to help Southeast Michigan businesses find the talent they need for success. WIN accomplishes this using labor market intelligence, providing custom solutions for employers, and promoting innovative policy and practice. For more information on WIN visit www.win-semich.org.
In her college role, Ms. Miller oversees government and legislative affairs, business and industry relationships, economic development, grant administration, partnerships. Her duties include collaborating with stakeholders on the national, state, regional and local levels to positively impact the economic condition of the community. Vice Chancellor Miller stated, “WIN is making a real difference in how we bridge the skills gap in Southeast Michigan – real- time data and employer engagement means we can provide the right training for the right people to get the right jobs.”
Mr. Sleight works with area economic development, business and other partners to provide creative solutions to help firms find the talent they need for success. Key initiatives include Intern Livingston and support for the Livingston Business Education Alliance, which engages employers in addressing key talent issues in the community. “I am excited to continue as co-chair of the WIN Board,” noted Sleight. “This powerful collaboration of Workforce Investment Boards and Community Colleges is already transforming the region’s workforce system and is a national model for addressing the critical talent shortages facing advanced manufacturing, information technology, health care, and other key industries.”
Oakland County provides support to employers and job-seekers through the nine Michigan Works! career centers that offer a wide-range of services, at no cost. Hewlett Packard, Lear Corporation, Verizon Wireless, Witzenmann USA and EDAG have all partnered with Oakland County Michigan Works! to screen talent, fill jobs, transition careers and develop training programs. Those seeking employment can tap into career management experts at the centers to help them with their job search.
A wide range of resources also is drawn upon to prepare Oakland County’s workforce well into the future. Strong ties with economic and community development agencies, businesses and institutes of higher learning bring a strategic focus to the work.The Skills Need Assessment Project 2012 designed to identify gaps in knowledge, skills and abilities in the current workforce is a recent example of this.
County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, the Oakland County Workforce Development Board, Oakland County’s Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs, Michigan’s Workforce Development Agency, and the U.S. Department of Labor are among those supporting this work. The Workforce Intelligence Network also reinforces regional employer efforts on behalf of Michigan Works! and the community colleges in SE Michigan.