employment

Careers

Jun 26, 2019

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Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

Five people who design newspaper layouts were laid off in Traverse City on Tuesday. They worked for CNHI, the company that owns the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Record-Eagle Publisher Paul Heidbreder says the employees were part of a local "design hub" that worked on layouts for newspapers across the country, but CNHI is reducing the number of papers designed out of Traverse City. 

Creative Commons

Students with disabilities in northern Michigan now have more opportunities to get workplace experience.

A Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District program works with students ages 16 to 26 with cognitive or emotional impairments.

Mimi Kinney, the Transition Coordinator at the ISD, says students are trained and placed in different jobs.

"We help them beef up their self advocacy skills," Kinney says. "Then we help them put them into play and into actual opportunities in the community."

For people who get out of prison, the chances of getting a job are often slim to none.

There are programs to help ex-offenders find work and transition back into society, but funding a company willing to hire former inmates proves a challenge.

Recently, though, some companies have been not just hiring, but recruiting ex-offenders.

Michigan’s unemployment rate has dropped to 5.6 percent. That’s a reduction of three-tenths of a percentage point, which is a bigger-than-usual adjustment.   

But that decline in the monthly rate is due to a reduction in the workforce, as it’s measured by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the state Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. Actual month-to-month new hiring was flat, but there were fewer people competing for those jobs.

That didn’t stop Governor Rick Snyder (R) from trumpeting the new jobs numbers in a prepared statement:

Aaron Selbig

Have you ever walked into a business and been served by someone with a tattoo on their neck or hands? Did it shock you? Shock or not, tattooed workers are becoming more and more common.

And business owners say that’s at least partly due to a tight labor market.

Frances Holmes is human resources director for Blarney Castle Oil, which runs more than 90 convenience stores all over northern Michigan. Many of the stores are located in seasonal, resort communities.

Even with the unemployment rate at 7.5% in Michigan, employers say they still can’t find the skilled workers they need to fill available jobs.

But other voices question the skills gap, calling it "overblown", even a "myth" and suggesting that it’s really more the fault of the companies.

Lou Glazer is president and co-founder of Michigan Future. He says companies should take the responsibility making jobs more attractive.

“When you look at the package employers have put together to attract people to the industry, it ain’t so great,” says Glazer.

For cyclical industries like manufacturing and construction, when the employment package is not great, the employers likely get a small pool of entrants.