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Talent Tours

Preparing for the Future

Talent Tours introduce youth, parents, and teachers to available career paths in their region by offering a behind-the-scenes look into in-demand businesses and industries. The tours help students understand what opportunities are available in their area, as well as employer education and training requirements necessary to secure employment. Impacts include: relationship building, establishing a talent pipeline, talent retention, and the opportunity to see real-life application of coursework.

Talent tours take place at an employer's business in coordination with local schools and Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium. The tours show students what industries are located close to home, insight into what training is necessary to work in these industries, and can provide incentive to bring them back to northeast Michigan after occupational training and/or college.


Talent Tour Criteria

  • Target local, in-demand industries.
  • Provide an overview of the industry and key examples of in-demand occupations.
  • Define educational requirements for in-demand occupations.
  • Tours are on-site at the employer's business, or at a simulated workplace providing hands-on experience.
  • Tours highlight "an average day on the job."
  • Potential should exist for job shadowing, internships, and work experiences with participating employers.

Creating a Local Partnership

  • Michigan Works! facilitates relationship building between educational partners and businesses. Can sometimes help with transportation costs, depending on funding availability.
  • Businesses define the roles, skills and training expectations in their industry via short presentations, plant tours and hands-on experience.
  • Educational partners arrange transportation, monitor student safety and behavior, and encourage engagement and open communication.

In the 2017-2018 school year, 13 high schools/post-secondary schools participated in 10 talent tours across 15 companies, totaling 221 students.

Recent Tours

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Nov 12, 2020
Weyerhaeuser Holds Virtual Talent Tour for Grayling High School Students On October 23, in recognition of Manufacturing Month, Weyerhaeuser held a virtual Talent Tour for 15 Grayling High School students. The more...
Oct 12, 2020
October 2 -   Forty-seven students from Fairview Schools and twenty from Vanderbilt Schools attended a Facebook Live Talent Tour at Springs Window Fashions in Grayling on October 2, 2020 in recognition more...
Jun 15, 2020
Six students from the Shawono Center in Grayling participated in a Virtual Talent Tour of Springs Window Fashions on May 22, 2020 coordinated by Michigan Works! HR Manager, John Metts began more...

Educator Approved
Educators have been very impressed with the tours, finding them beneficial in assisting students with career pathway decisions and giving students the opportunity to see first-hand what each job entails.

Students Love the Experience
Students report that they are very excited to see in-person what the day-to-day operations of these industries look like, as well as receive guidance on what educational/training steps are necessary to get into these fields. Many students are surprised to learn such employment opportunities exist right in their area.

Benefits Local Businesses
Employers are recognizing the skills gap between available positions and the applicant pool. With industries such as manufacturing, healthcare and others rebounding, employers are now finding it harder to fill openings with qualified workers. Past participating businesses state Talent Tours are an excellent way to educate the next generation of workers about the skills and education needed to maintain their workforce needs.