Michigan 'boldly goes where no state has gone before' in hunt to fill employers' talent pipeline gap
Lansing 5:01 is joining recruiters with some of Michigan’s largest and most innovative high-tech and creative companies at the South by Southwest Music, Film, and Interactive Conference and Festival (SXSW) this March in Austin, Texas – but not to listen to music at the heralded concert scene.
This collaborative is looking to hire “new collar” millennials and skilled-talent workers from across the country who will attend SXSW March 8-12, as well as change perceptions of Michigan as a place to live and make a living. The term “new collar” is a play on “blue-collar job” that originated with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, relating to the company's efforts to increase the number of people qualified for technology careers.
“When deciding on their career path, millennials want to know more than just job opportunities – they want to explore all of their options to live, work and play before making any commitments to an employer,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan acting director. “We’re excited to see statewide talent attraction partners and businesses teaming up to highlight the many reasons why Michigan offers the best of both worlds.”
It’s the fifth consecutive year that Michigan House has represented at SXSW, and the 2019 itinerary is the most ambitious yet, organizers say. Several municipalities and even some foreign nations stage programs similar to Michigan House during SXSW, but Michigan is the first and only state with such a robust presence.
“Attraction and retention are hot-button priorities for businesses of all size throughout Michigan,” said Ted Velie, a co-founder of Michigan House, a public-private partnership that serves as an experiential embassy at the SXSW conference by promoting Michigan’s career and lifestyle opportunities featuring the state’s premier attractions.
“SXSW provides a unique pathway to connect with a highly sought-after demographic, and our Michigan House activities offer an ideal environment designed to make a great first impression of everything our state has to offer,” Velie said. “Michigan has to boldly go where no other state has gone before because we recognize the critical importance of helping employers dispel the myth that Michigan is still a ‘Rust Belt’ state.”
In addition to Lansing 5:01, the membership-based talent recruitment agencies Let’s Detroit, Hello West Michigan, Ann Arbor Spark and Southwest Michigan First provide marketing and consulting support toward the effort, including sharing information about job openings, candidate information and resumes. This focus is on a specific SXSW demographic: 43 percent of festival-goers are between ages 21 and 34 and 27 percent have careers in management, followed by 23 percent in creative development, 17 percent in “something else,” 15 percent in sales and marketing, 10 percent in business development and 8 percent in communications and public relations.
The full Michigan House schedule at SXSW is available at http://www.michiganhouse.org or by following @michiganhouse on Instagram and @michigan_house on Twitter.
The 5:01 is looking for guest bloggers to share their experiences on the benefits of living, working and playing in the greater Lansing area.