Talent (also known as human capital) is an essential component of economic development and growth. It provides employers with the workforce needed to succeed. It is even more important in a global economy where business has the option of locating anywhere. Increasingly, it is the availability of talent that is the deciding factor in business location decisions. Southeast Michigan is home to talented people recognized around the world for exceptional innovation, design, manufacturing, and supply chain management skills. We need to build upon this knowledge base, fine-tune our skills, and transition our workforce to careers in evolving and emerging industries. Talent is closely linked to our education system. Our excellent K-12 systems, community colleges, and universities — as well as labor and community-based training partners — help develop a future workforce for in-demand fields that support our economy.

What is SEMCOG doing to help create the workforce Southeast Michigan needs?

Talent is one of the priority areas identified in Increasing Jobs and Prosperity in Southeast Michigan: A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). This document is updated regularly to reflect changing economic conditions, add major new economic development projects, and identify successes in addressing challenges.

SEMCOG's work focuses on three major aspects of talent:

Soft Skills

The Lifelong Soft Skills Framework is a plan for developing essential workplace and life skills that help students and employees succeed. It identifies 18 key soft skills and eight stakeholder groups who have a role in developing these skills through teaching, modeling, reinforcing, and assessing. Material in the report provides background for 14 videos describing soft skills.

Infrastructure and Jobs Asset Map

The Infrastructure and Jobs Asset Map analyzes of the jobs expected to be created by major infrastructure projects in Southeast Michigan and identifies training programs to make the local workforce more competitive for these jobs. Major infrastructure projects include the new international trade crossing with Canada, improvements to I-75 and I-94, and M-1 rail streetcar.

A major finding of the analysis was a lack of technical skills in the workforce.

MIRoad2work Website

STEM Careers and Skilled Trades

The demand for technical skills in the workforce continues to grow. As a result, SEMCOG developed a strategy for building awareness, interest, and appreciation among key groups — students of all ages, parents, counselors, and educators for skilled trades and technical careers — to meet employer needs and the changing demands of the economy. Several resources have been developed, including a Technical Career Continuum which identifies the different paths to career success through post-secondary education — industry certificates, two- and four-year degrees, and apprenticeships.

Resources for students, parents, counselors, and teachers:

Promoting STEM: Posters (for download)
Click on any of the posters below to download a high-resolution PDF.

[What do you want] to be? STEM poster featuring an Arabic woman[What do you want] to be? STEM poster featuring an Asian man[What do you want] to be? STEM poster featuring a Black man

[What do you want] to be? STEM poster featuring a Black womanTech Career Continuum STEM poster[What do you want] to be? STEM poster featuring a White woman

Promoting STEM: Brochures (for download)
Click on any of the posters below to download a high-resolution PDF.

Ready to print version
[What do you want] to be? STEM brochure

Customizable version:
Use this version if you have Adobe Acrobat Pro and you would like to customize the contact info section of the brochure.
[What do you want] to be? STEM brochure to customize


Developing Regional Solutions
SEMCOG is a regional planning partnership of governmental units serving 4.7 million people in the seven-county region of Southeast Michigan striving to enhance the region's quality of life.