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Snyder wraps up summit on connecting jobs, talent

Governor Snyder was on hand in Detroit to wrap up his two-day Governor's Economic Summit Tuesday.

One of the summit's main goals was to start matching workforce talent and job skills with employers’ needs. There was a lot of talk about the need for better-trained employees in some sectors, particularly the skilled trades.

But Snyder says employers have to do their part, too—and treat potential employees like customers.

“You go to your customer. You engage your customer," Snyder said to business leaders in the audience. 

"I think there’s a huge opportunity on the employer side to say, what can you do to go to your customer more…your potential employee?”

Snyder says Michigan’s educational system is also “stopping short” when it comes to connecting students with careers.He says the system needs to re-focus emphasis from credentials, to real skills.

“[The status quo] isn't good enough," Snyder said. "That’s not connecting to a career. So there’s a role for the education community.”

Snyder’s office says the summit was designed to “connect talent and accelerate job growth.”

Snyder called the summit itself “a good day and a half,” but the says it’s only the start of a huge project that will require collaboration from many different groups.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.