it may be improved.
The report “Business Leader Insights: How Higher Education Can Help Michigan Become a Top Ten
State,” was published February 2015. The report was sanctioned to help shed light on the current state
of Michigan higher education and what can be done to improve Michigan’s competitiveness and
become a “Top Ten State for jobs, income and a healthy economy,” (Pg. 6).
The report made several key points about the impact higher education has on the personal, state and
national levels. It states that Michigan is behind in higher education attainment by citing that,
“Michigan ranks 26th in the production of total degrees and certificates in technical skilled areas and
ranks 31st in the percentage of its working population with an associate’s degree or higher,” (Pg. 9). It
goes on to state that, “Higher Education is a state asset with the potential to increase state GDI by up
to $200 million and add an additional 40,000 new jobs by 2022,” (Pg. 9).
The report cites the U.S. Consensus Bureau data showing Michigan ranks 36th per capital personal
income which correlates to the state’s lower educational attainment (Pg. 8). “The overriding conclusion
of the report is that Michigan needs to fully embrace higher education as critical to obtaining and
keeping good paying jobs and raising the state’s standard of living” (Pg. 9). The report outlines four
key goals to close the education gap and increase Michigan competitiveness. They are:
Become a Top Ten State for Higher Education outcomes.
Strengthen the transition from education to employment.
Grow economic impact. (Pgs. 9-10)
Each of these goals is outlined in detail with strategies to be addressed which will move the state
forward; the result—more citizens being prepared for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics) positions required for the new economy. The full report may be accessed online at:
www.businessleadersformichigan.com. Glen Oaks is dedicated to these goals and is working diligently
to provide the certificates and degrees needed in the greater St. Joseph County region.
President, Glen Oaks Community College