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Amazon
User soumit / flickr.com

Amazon, the huge online retailer that sells everything from cookbooks to caskets, plans to build a second huge headquarters somewhere in America, and Detroit wants it -- badly.

Sandy Baruah, the CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, is part of a team fighting to lure Amazon to the Motor City. Dan Gilbert, who for years has been buying up vast amounts of Detroit real estate, says he's also put together a second team to woo them.

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley wrote that this could mean “the arrival of a company that could bring 50,000 jobs and a whole lot of hope to the Motor City.”

Looking up into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol.
user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Democratic lawmakers in Lansing have rolled out bills to give a stronger advantage to Michigan companies bidding to do business with the state.

One bill would do give a preference to Michigan-based businesses that bid on state contracts. Another would let Michigan companies get a second chance if they are underbid by an out-of-state firm.

State Senator Curtis Hertel, D-East Lansing, is a bill sponsor. He says other states have similar preference laws.

The state Capitol in Lansing.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Political intrigue is being blamed for the collapse of a deal for the state to offer big tax breaks to employers who bring a lot of jobs to Michigan.

An angry state House Republican leader abruptly canceled a vote Tuesday shortly before midnight on Governor Rick Snyder’s top priority for the Legislature’s spring and summer session. House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, accused the governor’s bargaining team of making side deals with Democrats and unions without informing GOP leaders.

KANDYJAXX/CREATIVE COMMONS

Michigan’s unemployment rate fell a half percentage point in May.

Michigan’s jobless rate fell to its lowest level last month since December of 2000 to 4.2%.  

“These numbers should encourage all Michiganders to continue to work hard and keep our foot on the gas,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a written statement. “We are moving forward on a great path toward our future.  The state's continued commitment to workforce development along with the lowest unemployment rate our state has seen in nearly 17 years proves that.”

John Auchter / Auchtoon.com

My inner dialogue for this week's cartoon —

Rational Me (RE): Let's please do something without Donald Trump in it. There's just so much going on with him right now, our cartoon might just get lost in the news swirl.

Emotional Me (EM): Absolutely. I'm on overload with that <redacted> and besides drawing him kinda make us queasy.

Hospital bed
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Mayor Mike Duggan and CEOs from three Detroit health systems announced a new job training program for city residents.

 

The Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System and St. John Providence are partnering with the city and Oakland University’s nursing school to train and employ 240 Detroiters in healthcare over the next year.

 

man cries at desk
User omargurnah / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Crying at work — we’ve all done it.

So, when something negative happens at work, like a bad performance review, what can you do to save face after shedding a few tears? 

Julia Lee, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan's Center for Positive Organizations and soon-to-be assistant professor at the Ross School of Business, researched crying at work in a new study.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow speaking about the "Bring Jobs Home Act" in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

An initiative to bring jobs back to the United States was announced in Detroit today.

Debbie Stabenow has been pushing her "Bring Jobs Home Act" in the U.S. Senate since 2012.

Senator Stabenow said the bill would get rid of tax loopholes for companies that outsource jobs, and reward those moving jobs back.

Stabenow said every time companies take jobs from the U.S., American taxpayers pay for the move.

“You want to move away from the United States, you are on your own,” Stabenow said. “We aren’t paying for it.”

user clarita / morguefile

What happens to the state’s economy when 600,000 more Michiganders get health insurance, thanks to the state’s Medicaid expansion – AKA the Health Michigan plan that’s part of the Affordable Care Act?

According to Dr. John Ayanian, professor and director of the Institute of Healthy Policy and Innovation the University of Michigan, you get about 30,000 new jobs a year.

Aerial shot of Detroit
flickr user Barbara Eckstein / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Pathways to Success job fair is part of the ongoing effort by My Brother's Keeper Alliance to provide more opportunities to young men and boys of color, particularly in urban areas. 

Though the event is targeted at young boys and men of color, it was open to the public. 

US Embassy / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

So here we are at the end of one of the most odious and vitriolic campaigns in memory. Rather than adding yet more commentary, I’d like to dig deeper into a claim both parties make – that they will bring jobs back to the U.S. The question no one is asking is “where exactly will the jobs come from?”

Invoice
user miguelb / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The economy. It’s an election issue, a global issue, and, for most Americans, a personal issue.

Gaging how well the economy is doing can be very difficult for economists. Measuring economic success on the national level relies on the stock market, unemployment numbers, and wage growth.

But these measurements don’t always represent how Americans feel about the economy on a personal level.

To find out how people are feeling on a personal level, Marketplace and Edison Research have teamed up to develop the “Economic Anxiety Index.” 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Politicians and media reports indicate Detroit is in the middle of an economic resurgence. That’s true for the central business districts. That’s not the case for many residents in the poorest neighborhoods.

“Some people just don’t have the hope. And, especially living in an environment like this, it’s kind of hard. It’s kind of hard. It’s very stressful,” said Alita Burton.

Travis / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan’s monthly unemployment rate has dropped to 4.7%. That’s the lowest it’s been in 15 years. 

 

The drop in the monthly rate was not due to more hiring, but to 6,000 people who gave up looking for work. Fewer people competing for job reduces the jobless rate.

 

But Governor Rick Snyder says the overall hiring trend for the state is good. He says the state’s workforce has grown by roughly 100,000 people since the beginning of the year in hopes of finding a job. 

 

automotiveauto.info

Time is running out for low-wage workers in Michigan; it's time to go back to school. 

That's the message from Business Leaders for Michigan, which released a report this week forecasting the state's workforce participation in the coming years. In the short term, things look good -- but not for long.

The report found high-skilled jobs are increasing in the state, but fewer adults have the proper training for those jobs. 

Agate Publishing

Whether you're a 65-year-old senior VP whose job has been eliminated or a 22-year-old with a freshly minted degree, trying to land a job is scary stuff.

Michigan native Matt Durfee has recruited for some of the biggest companies in the nation, and he has lost his job and had to navigate his way to a new position – not once, but several times.

U of M economists predict more job growth for Michigan

Nov 20, 2015
Fortune cookie
Flazingo.com / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan is set to regain two-thirds of the jobs lost in the state since the Great Recession.

According to the annual economic forecast from the University of Michigan, there will be close to 126,000 new jobs in the state within the next two years.

Kate Hiscock / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new state initiative aims to help foreign-born professionals find jobs in Michigan.

The Michigan International Talent Solutions program offers skilled immigrants assistance with resumes, applications, interview skills and other aspects of the job search process.

Annie Fenton, the program's director, said immigrants who worked in professional roles in their home countries often have difficulty finding equivalent positions in the United States. 

Sticky note with "find job" written on it.
user Flazingo Photos / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

What will it take to get Michiganders into good jobs?

The Center for Michigan has spent the last year asking questions of more than 5,000 Michiganders for its "Getting to Work" public engagement campaign.

This is the sixth such public engagement campaign conducted by the non-profit and nonpartisan Center for Michigan.

Paul Hitzelberger / United Photo Works

A new logistics center on Detroit's east side is expected to create 150 jobs.  

The facility was announced at a job fair held at Second Ebenezer Church. 

Edgar Vann, the bishop of the church, says there were about 100 people lined up before the doors even opened. 

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

An Indian manufacturing company is buying Southwestern High School in Detroit, and expanding its operations in the city.

Sakthi Automotive makes lightweight metal car parts. The company already has operations on either side of the high school. It’s getting $3.5 million in incentives from the Michigan Strategic Fund, and Detroit will spend $900,000 in federal money to tear down a portion of the building.

Courtesy Quicken Loans

As part of its five-year investment in Detroit, JPMorgan Chase conducted a study of the current state of the city's job force.

It released the report today, which details where there will be job openings, and what training will be needed to get those jobs. 

Chauncy Lennon is the head of workforce initiatives for JPMorgan Chase. 

"By providing people more opportunity, opportunities to get GEDs, opportunities to get other kinds of certificates and credentials, we'll be helping those folks really be in position to be candidates for these jobs."

Midland could see 300 new jobs this year

Mar 25, 2015
XALT Energy

A multi-year export contract will bring more than 300 new high-tech and manufacturing jobs to Midland, according to XALT Energy, a Midland-based developer and manufacturer of lithium batteries.

XALT announced this week that it has agreed to supply its lithium titanate batteries to HK Group, a Chinese manufacturer of all-electric buses. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The unemployment rate in Detroit is nearly double the statewide rate. Detroit residents need jobs. But too few people have marketable skills. What does it take to go from out-of-work to trained and employed?

For 30 years a group in Detroit has been training people to go to work as machinists, in IT, and beginning this year, in health care.

Fatima Mixon shows her Focus: HOPE certificate. She got a job because of the training program.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

If you live in Detroit, getting a job is just the first hurdle. Sometimes you have to be incredibly resourceful just to get to work.

After finishing her training at Focus: HOPE to become a machinist, Fatima Mixon did not find a job in the city of Detroit.

But she did get a job in Warren, Michigan. She was put on the midnight to 8:00 a.m. shift. Shift work is the worst for people who need to take the bus to work. The buses don’t run overnight.

While central business districts in Detroit are seeing the beginnings of resurgence, the neighborhoods are lagging behind. People who live in the city need jobs. To get them, many need new skills. In the second of a series of reports for the Detroit Journalism Cooperative, we're following a student who is trying to get the training she needs to help her family.

In the first report, I introduced you to Fatima Mixon. She’s been studying at Focus: HOPE to become a machinist. A few weeks after I first met her at the school, I visited Mixon and her family at home.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit businesses sometimes have a hard time finding qualified workers. Even a bakery determined to hire its neighbors has had a tough time.

“At one school I was hiring from,  I had to get rid of most of the people that I hired from that school because they didn’t know the poundage or how to read recipes or anything like that,”  Tony Johnson said. He’s the Human Resources manager for Avalon International Breads.

Flickr user Mike Fischer / Flickr

As the years roll on and you move through middle age into senior citizen status, it can feel as though the world is racing past you, leaving you in its dust. Especially when it comes to finding a job.

Yet more and more people aged 55 and up are in the job hunt. The government tells us in 1992, workers 55 and older made up just under 12% of the work force. By 2022, it could be more than 25%.

Hart Plaza in Detroit.
Jason Mrachina / Flickr

Michigan’s rate of unemployment is down. Detroit’s is expected to continue to decline. However, Detroit’s rate is still about twice that of the state.

Governor Rick Snyder plans to sign an executive order this morning to create a new state department with a focus on improving the state's workforce. It will be called the Department of Talent and Economic Development.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation will be moved into it. So will the state's unemployment agency. Governor Snyder says developing talent will give Michigan an edge over other states and countries in attracting employers.

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