Statewide News

Governor Whitmer signs executive order creating the Michigan Workforce Development Board consisting of local pastor

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-107 creating the Michigan Workforce Development Board. The board consists of a pastor of a Flint church, appointed to represent minority-owned business enterprises for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2021.

“Here in Michigan, the birthplace of the middle class, we must all work together to ensure paths to opportunity for everyone,” Whitmer said. “This board will be vital in continuing our efforts to grow both our workforce and our economy. This group of leaders will be instrumental in bringing together efforts and partners from key industries to expand our workforce, economy and educational attainment efforts.”

“Preparing the state’s workforce for jobs of the future and making sure that Michigan wins on talent will be incredibly important as we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jeff Donofrio, director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

“We look forward to working with these key industry, labor and community leaders, utilizing their diverse perspectives as we build a stronger Michigan together,” Donofrio added.

Last year, Whitmer committed Michigan to reaching 60% postsecondary educational attainment by 2030. The new workforce development board will be an essential part of this effort as they work to ensure Michiganders can acquire the skills and credentials they need to secure and advance in jobs with family-sustaining wages, as well as give Michigan’s job providers the access they need to skilled workers so they can continue to succeed in a global economy.

The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act requires the governor to establish a state workforce development board. Executive Order 2020-107 abolishes the current workforce development board; the Michigan Future Talent Council, and creates the Michigan Workforce Development Board. Changes in the structure and operation of Michigan’s workforce development board are necessary to reflect the current organizational structure of state government, to comply with federal law and to better address the employment and skills needs of Michigan’s workers and job providers.

The board is responsible for the development and continuous improvement of the workforce development system in Michigan. The board will act as an advisory body and will assist the governor with the development, implementation, and modification of Michigan’s four-year state plan pursuant to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and advance the governor’s 60 by 30 goal of helping 60% of our workforce achieve a post secondary degree or certification by 2030

The board will consist of the governor or her designee, the director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity or his designee and the following members appointed by the governor:

George Wilkinson, of Grand Blanc;  president of NorthGate and a pastor at Word of Life Christian Church of Flint

Mike Duggan, of Detroit; the mayor of the city of Detroit

Steve Claywell, of Battle Creek; the president of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council

Awenate Cobbina, of Detroit;  vice president of business affairs for Palace Sports and Entertainment and the chair of the MEDC Executive Committee

Robert Davies, Ph.D., of Mount Pleasant;  president of Central Michigan University

Jennifer A. Geno, of Bay City; executive director of career and technical education for the Saginaw Intermediate School District.

Lee Graham, of Holly;  executive director of Operating Engineers 324’s Labor Management Education Committee

Peter T. Hungerford, of Grand Rapids;  chief operating officer of ADAC Automotive

Russ Kavalhuna, of Dearborn;  president of Henry Ford College

Leigh A. Kegerreis, of Monroe; an administrative assistant to the president of the UAW

Birgit M. Klohs, of Grand Rapids; president and CEO of The Right Place, Inc.

Rachel E. Lutz, of Detroit; owner of the Peacock Room Boutique, Yama and Frida clothing stores

Dave Meador, of Bloomfield Hills; vice chairman and chief administrative officer of DTE Energy.

Cindy Pasky, of Detroit; president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions

Patti Poppe, of Grass Lake;  president and CEO of CMS Energy and Consumers Energy

Tony Retaskie, of Marquette; executive director of the Upper Peninsula Construction Council.

Jessica L. Robinson, of Detroit;  co-founder of the Detroit Mobility Lab and Michigan Mobility Institute and the co-founder and partner of Assembly Ventures

Ari Weinzweig, of Ann Arbor;  co-founder and CEO of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses

Matthew J. Wesaw, of Lansing;  tribal council chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the chairman and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority Board

Martha Zehnder Kaczynski, of Frankenmuth; vice president of the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Corp., Bavarian Inn Lodge, and the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus

The board will also include a member of the Michigan Senate nominated by the Senate majority leader, a member of the House of Representatives nominated by the speaker of the House, a non-voting member of the Senate nominated by the senate minority leader and a non-voting member of the House nominated by the house minority leader.

Appointments to the Michigan Workforce Development Board are not subject to advice and consent of the Senate.

 

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