Michigan Rides Talent Freeway


    LANSING — Meijer stores coined the term “One Stop Shopping,” but these days more and more companies are beginning to see the value of the phrase Fred Meijer saw many years ago. One of those organizations is the Michigan Department of Career Development (MDCD).

    The MDCD recently developed www.talentfreeway.org, a Web site designed to assist employers in their search for employees — and for future employees to search for that perfect job. In short, Talent Freeway is a comprehensive, user-oriented, one-stop, online service solution for Michigan residents.

    The site provides links to numerous resources for employers, employees, educators, parents and students under one easy-to-remember location.

    Some of the Web resources that Talent Freeway links to include:

    • Michigan Talent Bank (www.michworks.org), a job-matching system for employers and job seekers.
    • Internship Center (www.miinternship.org), a high school and post-secondary internship matching system for students and employers.
    • Career Education Consumer Report (www.mycareereducation.org), a place to shop for education and training programs.
    • Michigan Occupational Information System (MOIS) (www.mi-edp.org, a document to organize and produce educational and training goals.
    • Michigan Virtual University (www.mivu.org), a portal for Web-based training and catalogs of Web courses at Michigan post-secondary institutions.

    All sites are open to all users. According to MDCD’s Denise Yee, public relations and special events manager, employers can use the portal to locate new employees and interns through the Talent Bank and Internship Center. They can also use the Career Education Consumer Report to review training programs for employee retention and skill upgrades.

    Employers also are encouraged to try the Michigan Virtual University online training opportunities for employees.

    There is more to finding the perfect job than knowing what’s available, however. With the TalentFreeway, users can follow four steps to happy employment.

    The first step, self-awareness, leads users to a section that offers self-directed or counselor-directed assessment tools to find out what road is right. There are worksheets available that when printed and combined, create a portfolio notebook. It is also possible to map out interests, values and learning styles through these Career Pathways surveys.

    Step two, exploring, provides job descriptions and salaries of the many different occupations available in Michigan. Exploring is a good direction to take when the user is looking at several career paths.

    Learning is the third step and directs the user into the educational or training programs needed for the job of their choice. In this section there are many tools, including the Career Education Consumer Report, which offers an area aimed at individuals that want to find the best career education programs. The Michigan Virtual University and soon-to-be Virtual High School offers programs and courses. Each user can also search for degree programs in specific geographic areas as well as charter school and GED information.

    The planning section is the fourth step and creates a “map for success” for each user. The user makes decisions and the Michigan Educational Development Plan will organize and document the education and training goals. Step four also offers users tips on transforming experience into a productive resume and a look into the employment process. Here, users will learn the top 10 mistakes made on a resume and review effective interviewing techniques. An online counseling feature also is available.

    After following all four steps, each user will be led to the internship matching system and Talent Bank to assist in finding the perfect job.

    Just like any other freeway, the Talent Freeway is continuously under construction.

    This is just the beginning and the MDCD and its partners are updating and creating new services to benefit all the state’s stakeholders, Yee said.

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