Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Why Michigan Struggles to Connect People With Jobs

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

The obstacles blocking workers from the workforce are wide ranging and longstanding. For one woman struggling with transportation, “not having enough money to pay the tickets makes you into a criminal because now your license is suspended.”

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Michigan’s underdeveloped workforce is a complicated issue.

Many employers can’t seem to find employees to fill low and mid skilled jobs. The workers are out there but according to a report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan that came out last month, there’s a disconnect between the labor force and the jobs. Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson digs into the issue and talks about the problems and potential solutions to the issue.

I paid Lyft to the point that I became homeless because I had to get back and forth to work.” - Amber Lindsay, worker

Click on the player to hear about workforce development in Michigan.

Annamarie Sysling
Annamarie Sysling


  • Amber Lindsay is a Detroiter and a mom of three with culinary aspirations and transportation challenges. She notes that after some legal issues, and getting tickets that led to her license being suspended, it was hard to find work.

    Lindsay says she’s capable and willing to learn and work, “but because I have this stipulation, they wont let me get the job.” Lindsay continues, “I paid Lyft to the point that I became homeless because I had to get back and forth to work.”

    Now she is enrolled in a business and culinary program at Schoolcraft College and is working in the food industry in order to save up to start her own food truck. . She says it’s a business she hopes to pass down to her children. “Cooking is something to bring everyone together,” she says.
  • Eric Lupher is the President of Citizens Research Council of Michigan. “It’s sort of an equal number of people [looking for jobs] and jobs [available], why can’t we get them together? Other places do better. We need to do better,” he says. Lupher notes the aging workforce as one of the challenges, along with transportation, child care and health issues when looking at the workforce issues keeping people from jobs in the state. 



Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.


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