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Michigan launches first talent attraction and retention campaign

Posted at 1:23 PM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 13:24:36-04

 “Michigan is full of choices, some that change your day and others that change the future,” was the message conveyed by Gov. Rick Snyder and Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan (TED) Director Roger Curtis at the launch of the state’s first-ever talent attraction and retention campaign, Choose Michigan.

Snyder and Curtis, at the Lear Innovation Center in Detroit, pulled back the curtain on the creative messaging for the campaign, which includes digital and social media, radio, video and print advertisements.  All are being used to target STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and math – graduates and young professionals on the online platforms they use most. The campaign went into media markets in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Madison, Wisc., and across Michigan.

“Michigan’s economic growth is nearly unstoppable. The only thing standing in our way now is ensuring we attract and retain the talent to meet the demands of the future,” Snyder said. “It’s time to get louder and prouder and show these young people why Michigan is their best choice to start and grow their careers, with a work-life balance that is second to none. Choose Michigan is the perfect opportunity to show off everything Michigan has to offer when it comes to living, working and enjoying each day in the Great Lakes State.”

With the campaign comes a one-stop resource for STEAM talent to explore living and working in Michigan. The campaign talks about everything from tasty stats that highlight many trivia-worthy facts and quirks about Michigan to useful information on the state’s major cities. And from the companies transforming our nation – and the world – to throwing in many of the top destinations and attractions young talent might not think or know about, [] will drive awareness and action among its target audience.

“This is an exciting time to live and work in Michigan,” Curtis said. “And who wouldn’t want to be part of the comeback happening here in Detroit or play a role in the technology revolution taking place in Ann Arbor or even exploring the arts – and beer – in Grand Rapids? Michigan is home to opportunities that change your day and the world. And Choose Michigan is about showing it all off.”

"For years, we watched as our talent left for cities like Chicago or New York, because that's where the excitement and opportunity was," Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said. "Now, with so much growth taking place in Detroit and across the state, we are in a great position to bring back a lot of that talent and to make sure the next generation of engineers and computer programmers never leave. The Choose Michigan program will let our ex-pats and graduates know that Michigan is where they can build their careers and their lives."

"I originally chose Michigan by chance. However, I chose to stay in Michigan because the experience has changed my life. I went from being a stranger around town to a loyal advocate. It's the people, the communities and finding the work that I was meant for - that's why I chose Michigan," said Kim Driscoll, Grand Circus Director of all Learning.

The Choose Michigan campaign stemmed from several rounds of research and a targeted focus group held earlier this year. Called Project 480, the focus group brought together 15 STEAM professionals who made the choice to relocate to Michigan for their careers. Through the Project 480 work session, TED garnered impactful insights to formulate the talent attraction campaign that spotlights the state's abundant job opportunities, low cost of living, and rise in creative culture.

TED is working in conjunction with the Detroit Regional Chamber and their talent retention and attraction website that could serve as a wireframe for other regions in the state. The “Let’s Detroit” talent attraction and retention website, slated to launch in September, will provide job seekers with more career and lifestyle information specific to the metro Detroit area. The campaign also brings with it a first-of-its-kind Sherpa program, which allows young professionals to text a Detroiter to ask questions and learn more about the region.

“Our board leadership and members tell us on a consistent basis that they can't find the talent they need. There is a war for talent in this global economy and we don't see that abating anytime soon," said Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah. "We view this as something that will evolve and adapt over time."

The wireframe will be available for other communities who want to build their own talent website like Let’s Detroit.

The Lear Innovation Center was the natural choice for today’s launch since the mission of their space in Detroit directly reflect the goals of Choose Michigan.

“As Lear continues to grow, so does the importance of recruiting and retaining STEAM professionals in Michigan,” said Dave McNulty, Lear Corporation Vice President of Human Resources and Global Talent Acquisition. “Showing all that Michigan has to offer is a vital component of the Choose Michigan campaign and our commitment to supporting the communities in which we do business.”

The campaign comes after the announcement of Gov. Snyder’s Marshall Plan for Talent back in April to help fill the more than 811,000 career openings through 2024 in high-demand, high-wage fields like information technology and computer science, manufacturing, healthcare and other business and professional trades.

For more information about Choose Michigan, visit