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General Motors Commits $500,000 to Detroit Public TV to Help Bridge the State’s Talent Gap

November 18, 2022

detroit public tvDetroit Public Television (DPTV) and General Motors are joining forces to bridge the talent gap and diversify Michigan’s education and workforce pipeline. The nature of work in Michigan and across the country is rapidly evolving. While employers have been sounding alarm bells for years about a shortage of skilled workers, the state’s ability to retain, attract and train qualified job candidates remains immensely challenging.

With approximately 600,000 job openings forecast in Michigan by 2026, the region's continued growth and prosperity will rely heavily on having a skilled, high-quality workforce.

GM’s grant of $500,000 jumpstarts the Future of Work initiative, which addresses the future of Michigan's workforce through a comprehensive, two-track approach on the Michigan Learning Channel and One Detroit platforms.

GM’s generous commitment will leverage DPTV’s online, television and community resources to bring the vision for the Future of Michigan’s workforce to fruition with funding to:

  • Convene ongoing dialogue with various stakeholders to deeply understand workforce and talent issues, needs and gaps;
  • Collect existing resources and create new tools for students, teachers and parents to explore careers and build essential skills needed for success in the workplace;
  • Create a digital hub for trusted and vetted career information, tools and resources from education and industry leaders with easy, free access for all.

This Future of Work initiative builds on the platform and success of the Michigan Learning Channel. DPTV can provide students, teachers and families with curriculum-aligned supplemental tools and resources to explore, select and prepare for a career path. Through broadcast, digital distribution, on-demand resources and engagement, DPTV can immediately reach a statewide broadcast audience of 500,000 viewers, and more than 9,000 teachers and online users per month.

GM’s initial investment lays the foundation for this vitally important work. We are looking for additional philanthropic funders to help support the initiative and accelerate its reach and impact on Michiganders while strengthening the overall economic development of our great state.

This Future of Work initiative features two distinct, connected approaches:

The Michigan Learning Channel – A “cradle to career” initiative which provides students, teachers and parents with age-appropriate, curriculum-based, standards-aligned, multi-platform educational content, programming and experiences to prepare every young person in Michigan for a viable career pathway and successful future.

One Detroit – Through stories, town hall conversations and live event coverage, One Detroit will engage with business leaders, employers, educators and government organizations. Coverage will focus on the most pressing issues and promising solutions to expand the labor pool and build candidates who can meet the workforce challenges facing Detroit and Southeast Michigan.

DPTV says Michigan faces a talent gap that is quickly becoming a crisis for employers and needs to look inward to grow a talent pipeline for the future. Students are receiving too little support for career exploration, preparation and workplace learning experiences. A recent national survey by EdWeek revealed that only 16% of teachers felt that their school provided curriculum for students that met employer needs. Parents try to help but often lack the knowledge and resources to help their children chart pathways to successful futures.

In April, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2022 “State of Education” report documented drops in both university and community college enrollment, with higher dropout rates related to the pandemic. Enrollment declined by 10% among students from low-income high schools. The report stated educational attainment and equity gaps are holding back the region’s prosperity. Data like this drives the DPTV mission to use its platforms to address the state’s ongoing challenges with education.

This critical initiative will help every Michigan student explore and prepare for the right post-secondary option while providing a pipeline of talent ready to fill Michigan’s workforce needs.



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