Explores the reasoning, process, outcomes, and lessons learned by a workforce policy change in Michigan that shifted away from emphasizing short-term job search and job placement services towards longer-term investment in training for in-demand skills and credentials.
“During the past several years, a handful of states have embarked upon transformative approaches to workforce policy. This document explored the reasoning, process, outcomes and lessons learned by Michigan – a state that has significantly changed statewide workforce policy through their groundbreaking No Worker Left Behind initiative. While no two states are the same, Michigan’s experience offered valuable lessons that can be translated and adapted by other states interested in addressing workforce policy issues” (p.1). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“Michigan’s No Worker Left Behind doesn’t offer a silver-bullet to a given state’s economic woes; however, it does provide some insight into how one state responded to their own challenges with long-range vision and from an investment mentality. Through No Worker Left Behind, Michigan transformed its antiquated work-first system – which met neither the needs of employers or workers – and replaced it with an industry-friendly system that prioritizes demand-driven, longer-term training. This new system has helped Michigan create a more competitive and nimble workforce which helps to solidify its future competitiveness. Michigan’s experience with No Worker Left Behind delivers a clear example as to how state leaders can use this economic downtime to assess and re-envision their own workforce system and to come out with a better educated, better prepared workforce in the end. Again, not a simple undertaking but one that’s quite doable with vision, leadership and commitment” (p.8). (Abstractor: Author)