State Workforce Board calls for more mental health resources and creation of local Sixty by 30 goals to close talent gaps
LANSING, MICH. – The Michigan Workforce Development Board is calling for more mental health supports in the workplace and the creation of local Sixty by 30 goals across the state to build lasting resiliency for employees and to accelerate the state’s economic growth and prosperity for all Michiganders.
The mental health resolution approved Monday would prioritize strategies for improving the ability of businesses to support the mental health and wellbeing of employees and calls for the State of Michigan and the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to act on the recently released recommendations from Gov. Whitmer's Mental Health Workgroup, including:
- Identifying the workplace challenges and opportunities that exist within specific industry clusters;
- Identifying evidence-based practices from across the country;
- Creating resources, including data and information, that the state could provide to businesses in support of improving workplace environments’ ability to foster good mental health;
- Tracking progress on improving mental health in the workplace;
- Developing policies that will help businesses provide adequate mental health support, including through the State’s procurement or grant process; and
- Partnering with the Department of Health and Human Services when appropriate to maximize impact.
“If we want to see continued economic growth while attracting and retaining a skilled workforce, employers need to make sure their employees know their mental health and wellbeing are a priority,” said Cindy Pasky, Michigan Workforce Development Board Chair, and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions. “By prioritizing and investing in mental health support in the workplace, employers win big – they'll see lower turnover rates, higher retention, and higher productivity.”
The Workforce Development Board also approved a Sixty by 30 resolution to support the creation of local, county, or regional goals around the state, to be set by diverse sets of stakeholders, convened independently or with the support of the Office of Sixty by 30 within LEO. The adoption of local goals will enable:
- Local stakeholders to align their own strategic goals to the local goal;
- Greater alignment of resources in the education, training, and employment systems toward a unified aim;
- New resources to be identified and deployed in pursuit of that goal; and
- New, cross-sector solutions for expanding the talent pipeline, reducing barriers to education and training, and helping Michigan citizens to successfully complete degrees and certificates.
“Creating new local and regional Sixty by 30 goals across Michigan will foster cross-sector solutions for expanding our state’s talent pipeline and aligning resources to reduce barriers to education and training,” said Jeff Donofrio, Michigan Workforce Development Board Vice-Chair and Business Leaders for Michigan President and CEO. “This will help more Michigan residents complete degrees and certificates, providing them the opportunity to earn wages that support their families and achieve more prosperity.”
Michigan’s businesses are in line to similarly benefit from the continued focus on mental health in the workplace, as they will be able to retain talent and reduce the turnover rate with a happier workforce that is pleased with a healthy workplace atmosphere more effectively.
“These challenges span all businesses of all sizes,” said Dave Meador, Michigan Workforce Development Board Member. “By addressing barriers to success in the workplace, such as mental health challenges, childcare, transportation, and the need for education and skills training, we can help set our workforce up for future success, and both resolutions are key steps toward doing so. Large companies are actively addressing these issues today, and we will continue working hard to find the resources to help medium and small businesses who really need help supporting their employees.”
The Michigan Workforce Development Board is responsible for the development and continuous improvement of the workforce development system in Michigan. The Board acts as an advisory body and assists the Governor with the development, implementation, and modification of Michigan's four-year state plan pursuant to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, as well as advancing the Governor's Sixty by 30 goal. The board committees are focused on work in the areas of barrier removal, job matching, policy, and talent cultivation.