The Marshall Plan for Talent

By: Tyler Sawher | Senior Strategy Adviser for Education and Career Connections.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the Marshall Plan for Talent Bill in June 2018.

Now that the Governor’s Marshall Plan for Talent has been signed into law, we wanted to give you an update on our progress.

First, as of this writing, we have held 17 workshops across the state from Dearborn to Grand Rapids to Marquette and have seen more than 1,300 participants! We hope that these sessions have been helpful as educators and employers build their partnerships to help prepare students for the 21st century economy.

Second, we have just posted the Concept Summary guide on the Marshall Plan website, This is the first document that talent consortia will submit to begin the first round of grant applications. In these Concept Summaries we are looking for consortia to bring us their innovative ideas and programs. Consortia who bring us great ideas will be invited to apply for the first round of funding.

Third, work has begun on the Talent for Tomorrow Scholarship! Students will be able to apply very soon. This unique scholarship is designed to fill the last remaining funding gap and eliminate barriers for low-income citizens who want to start their career in a high-demand, high-salary, high-mobility field. These students will receive extra support to help them complete their credential, including stipends for child care and transportation along with intensive mentoring and coaching along the way. We are very excited for this scholarship, as it has the potential to significantly improve the lives of our most disadvantaged residents by getting them into a life-changing career.

So what does this mean for your student? There are a few changes that we’re hoping take hold that benefit Michigan’s students:

1. Students will have more time for career exploration. This can mean anything from job shadowing to internships and apprenticeships. You may see more staff in your schools dedicated to career navigation for students. Students learn better when they see how what they are learning in the classroom applies to the real world. It also helps students figure out what careers they are interested before they get to higher education institutions.

2. Students will not be prevented from taking on harder material simply because the “rest of the class” hasn’t caught up yet. One of the most frustrating things for both students and parents is when their student has mastered material and has to wait for their peers to catch up. Under the Marshall Plan, we want students to be able to immediately move onto more challenging material as soon as they can prove they have mastered the existing material. Conversely, students who are behind will not be set up to fail by being pushed ahead to more advanced material before they have mastered the basics. Instead they will be given more time and attention to ensure they are learning what they need to master a subject.

3. Students will have more opportunities to earn industry-recognized credentials earlier. These includes degrees, certificates, and other credentials in high-demand fields that can be built upon. With many of these credentialed students will be able to go right into either high-salary employment or parlay that credential into college credit tw a four-year degree.

4. Students will work on real-world, hands-on projects in class as opposed to just listening to a teacher lecture. These projects will improve both technical and 21st century skills as well as improve student learning because research has shown that students learn better through hands-on projects that are relevant to their interests. Importantly, projects can also help students develop skills like tenacity, teamwork, and communication. These 21st century skills are in high-demand by employers and are highly transferrable to any career.

Perhaps the biggest change that the Marshall Plan for Talent will bring about is the way we all work together in Michigan. The Marshall Plan deliberately brings together businesses and educators to help solve the talent gap. By working together, schools can offer students high-quality experiences that increase academic achievement and career exploration while businesses are able to directly influence the talent pipeline to make sure they have enough people to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow. Through this partnership, students and parents benefit from a higher-quality education for a more successful future.

We are very excited to offer the Marshall Plan for Talent to Michigan students. For more information, visit