Mantella and statewide business leader in op-ed: partnerships key to well-prepared graduates

A seated person with hands crossed poses for a photo.
President Philomena V. Mantella co-authored an op-ed on the importance of partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses to prepare students for the economy of the future.
Image credit - Amanda Pitts

President Philomena V. Mantella and a statewide business leader emphasized in an op-ed this week the importance of innovative partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses to retain talent in Michigan.

Mantella and Jeff Donofrio, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, co-authored the piece in The Detroit News. The two said an educated, well-trained workforce is key to Michigan being a leader in the economy of the future, which will depend on jobs that are tied to higher education:

The state has an opportunity to overcome its challenges when education, business and government work together. The old way of life, where students are simply passed from grade level to grade level and then thrown over the wall into the workforce after graduating from college, is obsolete.

Gone are the days where these “train and pray” initiatives separate education and the ability to obtain a job and succeed in a career. 

To become a Top 10 state, we need a developed and agile workforce with many points of entry to drive a vibrant, growing economy. To do this, it is imperative for our education and business communities to come together on new ways to produce talent that aligns with what employers need. It will also require that these unique programs are valued and supported by state leaders.

Michigan is beginning to move the needle in the right direction through the state’s "sixty by 30" goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree from 51% today to 60% by 2030, as well as through programs like Michigan Reconnect, which provides a tuition-free path to community college for students 25 and older.

Several Grand Valley partnerships with businesses to cultivate on-the-job experience were highlighted: 

Read the entire op-ed at this link available to subscribers.


Sign up and receive the latest Grand Valley headlines delivered to your email inbox each morning.