Register now for summer 2014 session of Michigan Shifting Gears: Program helps provide job seekers with a roadmap to their next great career

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Michigan Shifting Gears, an intensive career transition initiative sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, kicks off its next three-month cohort on Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

Lansing, Mich.—Michigan Shifting Gears, an intensive career transition initiative sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, kicks off its next three-month cohort on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Registration for the Summer 2014 session, taking place in Lansing, is open now through Friday, June 6. 

“Michigan’s small businesses and entrepreneurs are growing and searching for qualified talent to help their companies move in the right direction,” said Michael Finney, President and CEO of the MEDC. “At the same time, many talented Michiganders are seeking new career opportunities. Michigan Shifting Gears provides participants with strategies for a successful career transition, and growing companies with the skilled workers they need to succeed.”

The program is designed to help experienced professionals, returning veterans, stay-at-home parents and others facing a career crossroads fine-tune their skills to fit the needs of small businesses, entrepreneurial start-ups, and non-profits. Launched in 2009 by Ann Arbor SPARK and Sensei Change Associates, Michigan Shifting Gears is a unique opportunity for seasoned professionals and other transitioning job seekers to learn how to put their talent and experience to work in “new economy” career opportunities.

Participants in Michigan Shifting Gears receive a professional career assessment and career coaching, attend eight days of workshops, participate in networking events, and take part in a three-day small business simulation. Participants are paired with volunteer mentors from the entrepreneurial community who work one-on-one to review their resumes, provide career advice, and help with their career transition. 

Each Michigan Shifting Gears participant also must complete an 80-hour pro bono internship with a small business or non-profit. The internship provides valuable first-hand experience in a small business environment. In turn, Michigan Shifting Gears interns bring valuable skills and business expertise to their host companies.

Prior to registration, interested individuals are required to participate in an informational program overview and Q&A webinar where they will have the opportunity to ask questions about the program. Following completion of the overview, participants will receive a link to register for the program. Anyone interested in attending the Summer 2014 session must complete the informational overview and Q&A session, and register no later than Friday, June 6.


  • Early bird registration ($500) deadline: Midnight, Monday, May 12
  • Discounted registration ($550) deadline: Midnight, Monday, May 27
  • Final registration ($575) deadline: Midnight, Friday, June 6 (deadline will NOT be extended)

Payment plans are available. MEDC underwrites the balance of the program cost to help the state retain and retool top talent to meet the needs of Michigan’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. 

Michigan Shifting Gears has an impressive rate of success, with 51 percent of graduates landing new jobs within three months of completing the program. Sixty-five percent of graduates land positions within six months, and 84 percent find work within nine or more months. 

Kathy Hollister of East Lansing participated in the 10th cohort of Michigan Shifting Gears. She landed a position with the Capital Area Health Alliance shortly after graduating from the program, and is still enjoying the work.

“Before starting Shifting Gears I was discouraged and frustrated in my pursuit of meaningful work, having been laid off from a job. I joined Shifting Gears to challenge myself, take a risk, and grow,” Hollister said. “Some of the most valuable things I gained from the program were context, perspective, and going from feeling isolated, to connecting with others whom I could identify with in a meaningful way. As a result of the program, I developed a vision for myself; learned to have confidence in my strengths, talents and abilities; and articulate clearly what it is that I have to give others – all while building connections and relationships that were, and continue to be, incredibly valuable.”

Visit to learn more about the prerequisites for enrolling in the Michigan Shifting Gears Summer 2014 session. For more information, contact a Michigan Shifting Gears program manager at

Click to tweet this: .@MIShiftingGears helps provide #Michigan job seekers with a roadmap to their next great career.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.