The Michigan Works! network has improved their long-standing partnership over the past year with the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency by helping with over 1.25 million calls, navigating accounts, helping residents file claims, and answering questions to produce positive results for hundreds of thousands of residents.
“Michigan Works! agencies across the state have always played an important role assisting the Unemployment Insurance Agency and displaced workers,” said Liza Estlund Olson, UIA Acting Director. “We thank them for going above and beyond throughout the pandemic by providing workers with advanced assistance on their unemployment claims. Our continued partnership during their transition will be essential as the Agency prepares to bring work search reporting requirements for UI claimants back online in the coming weeks.”
The Michigan Works! network said it recognizes the need to focus from employment issues back to back to training, educating, and getting Michigan residents back to work with the increase of vaccine eligibility.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we were in a period of emergency relief,” said Jacob Maas, CEO of West Michigan Works!. “We are now shifting into economic recovery. Knowing that the workforce environment is still volatile, we will continue to adapt and innovate to support employers as they return to pre-pandemic production and services.”
As the unemployment rate continues to drop, Michigan Works! is beginning to see the remnants of a pre-pandemic economy. The network hopes to help rebuild Michigan’s economy by making its access to apprenticeships easier and by making connections to employees across the state.
Many employers are in urgent need of employees, especially in the areas of skilled trades, administrative services, and industrial services.
“The lack of workers is the new pandemic,” John Metts, HR Manager, Springs Window Fashions. “We have had almost no response to our advertised positions. I have a stack of resumes the size of a ream of paper on my desk from an employment website. I have offered each of them an interview via the website and have had zero responses. We have raised our wages. We have tried contacting hundreds of employees who have placed their resumes online through the various employment services and have had zero responses. We can’t even get anyone to come in for an interview.”