Thursday, February 04, 1999
Forms Corporation, New Department of Career DevelopmentGovernor John Engler yesterday signed Executive Order 1999-1, reorganizing the state's economic and workforce development functions. The executive order creates a new Department of Career Development to increase the state's focus on career preparation and training, and ultimately moves the economic development function of the state to a new Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "Through hard work and the right policies, there are now plenty of jobs in Michigan," Engler said. "But this reorganization will allow us to attract even more high-wage, high-skill, high-demand jobs while making sure our residents are prepared to succeed in them. These Gold Collar jobs will help Michigan's economy continue to thrive well into the 21st century." The reorganization was unveiled by the Governor in his State of the State address. The Governor's executive order transfers workforce development staff currently with the Michigan Jobs Commission to the state's newest department, the Department of Career Development. "For those who choose to go directly into the workforce, a wide array of options must be accessible for career development, including on-the-job training, apprenticeships in a skilled trade, or high-tech training at a community college or university," Engler said in his State of the State address last week. "In the century that awaits us, working harder won't be enough. We will have to work smarter because the very nature of work is changing." The order also transfers economic development staff from the Michigan Jobs Commission to the Michigan Strategic Fund and moves the fund to the Department of Management and Budget as an autonomous agency. It permits the Strategic Fund to form a new Michigan Economic Development Corporation in partnership with local governments. The new corporation will allow the state to: complete the consolidation of economic development in Michigan; benefit from having the same structure that local governments have in their similar corporations; and put long-term continuity into the economic development function. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation will work to merge with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, a private non-profit organization based in Ann Arbor. The MMTC works with small and mid-sized companies to provide consulting services on the latest manufacturing processes. The economic development corporation will also work to merge with Michigan Technologies, Inc., a newly formed organization that seeks to increase the number of high tech jobs in Michigan. The reorganization is effective on April 5.