OPINION: Help put Michigan back to work by hiring a recent grad or a returning vet
Michigan's powerful are meeting on Mackinac Island this week.
The annual watering hole gathering of Michigan’s top civic, business, labor, education, government, political and foundation elite began Tuesday and runs through Thursday.
The 2012 Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference will draw up to 1,500 of Michigan’s “movers and shakers" to the island famous for its fudge and its ban on motor vehicles. They will eat, drink and mingle on the world's largest porch at the Grand Hotel to gab about the state's problems and opportunities.
Henry Ford once said, “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.” Ford was right and the business community has a responsibility to help ready our state and nation by helping to put people back to work.
Today, we live in a fast-paced, disruptive, transformational, technologically-driven, knowledge economy where ideas and jobs can and do move around the globe effortlessly. Michigan lost nearly a million jobs in the previous decade and we need to accelerate the hiring process to get Michigan working again.
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “Don’t curse the darkness, light the candle.”
So rather than cursing the lack of employees, consider hiring and training the unemployed vet, high school or college grad actively looking for work.
By hiring, training and mentoring, we will be lighting the way to the future. Putting someone to work not only puts money and experience in their pocket, it also benefits our entire community.
During the most recent economic downturn, many people have been deprived of the opportunity to be employed through no fault of their own.
But as the economy picks up steam, if businesses were to make a concerted effort to hire, collectively it could make a huge difference for them and our state and country.
With massive deficits at the local and federal levels, it is unlikely that governments will fill the void to create youth employment opportunities. It is time for businesses to step up hiring.
“Don’t find fault, find a remedy” is another Henry Ford quote we might all be wise to follow.
Today, we have the power to prepare our future workforce while strengthening our communities and state.