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Local Students Get an Inside Look at Future Careers at MI Career Quest Event

Thursday, November 2, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Thousands of students got an inside look at future careers on Wednesday at the MI Career Quest Southwest in Kalamazoo

Local business leaders said there's a lot more riding on these kids finding jobs they love and Newschannel 3's Jake Berent reports on the stakes.

Local leaders say 40 percent of our workforce will retire in the next ten years, and they said that keeping these the Millennial generation in Southwest Michigan, will be the key to our future.

The path to prosperity is right in front of us.

Ron Kitchens, CEO of Southwest Michigan First, said, “We've got to do a better job of telling the story and what that pathway looks like. Ignorance is our enemy.”

Kitchens said the city is in deep trouble if we can't teach the next generation about the good paying jobs that are out there.

He said, "We're going to see 35,000 fewer workers here in our region if we don't do something about this."

That's why the MI Career Quest Southwest was giving that next generation a hands on look at the wide variety of careers that are here in Southwest Michigan.

Kitchens said, “People don't understand how much money a plumber makes, how much money a welder or an electrician makes, those are true middle class jobs. Those are jobs that you can own a car, own a house and build a retirement on.”

If you don't think this impacts people in the area, Kitchens wants you to think again.

He said, “Taxes are going to rise for everybody who's here because it costs just as much for policemen to patrol our streets, for the firemen to be there, for potholes to get fixed, there will just be fewer people paying for it."

He hopes parents encourage their kids to attend events like the MI Career Quest event, and job fairs, and get to know that not every well-paying job requires years of schooling.

Kitchens said, “We're all in this together, we're either going to thrive together, or we're not going to succeed. And we're going to do that together.”

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