In brief

Michigan Women’s Commission to meet in Lansing on January 23

LANSING – The Michigan Women’s Commission will hold a regular business meeting at 2 pm on Tuesday, January 23 at the Radisson Hotel, Capitol I Room, 111 N. Grand Avenue in Lansing. The guest speaker will be Ed Sarpolus, founder and Executive Director of Target-Insyght. The Commission will also hear updates on their three key initiatives: Women in Business, Women Veterans, and Human Trafficking and Sexual Assault. Public comment will take place at the end of the meeting. All Commission meetings are open to the public. For more information, call 313-456-4702 or send email to mdcr-womenscomm@ — R.S.

Michigan invests $2.5 million in local schools to grow FIRST Robotics teams

LANSING – Michigan leads the nation in FIRST Robotics teams, and $2.5 million in state grants will help even more students benefit from working with professionals and being inspired by seeing real-world applications of STEAM subjects. Awarded by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), the $2.5 million in grants was divided between public and non-public schools, with nearly $2.3 million awarded to 423 public schools and $157,700 to 39 non-public schools. Programs received grants ranging from $100 to $9,000 to help grow programs. The list of schools awarded the grants is available on the MDE website. Since 2014, Michigan has invested $12 million to help schools start and strengthen FIRST teams. — R.S.

I-69 Thumb Region Talent Forum to be held Jan. 24

GENESEE COUNTY – The I-69 Thumb Region is experiencing job growth, as many employers are in a hiring mode. At the same time, there are many residents here who would like to increase their incomes by obtaining a new or better job.

Bolstering the area’s labor market will be the focus of the I-69 Thumb Region Talent Forum being held Jan. 24 at the Lapeer County Club, 3786 Hunt Rd. in Elba Township. The forum will tackle workforce supply factors including unemployment, underemployment, out-county commute and impending retirements.

Participants will also delve into the critical factors affecting workforce participation.

Currently, the percentage of the working age population (ages 15 and up) in the I-69 Thumb Region stands at 56.6 percent, according to an analysis of 2017 employment data by Emsi. The statewide average for labor force participation is 60.1 percent, and there are several areas of the state have rates that are almost 10 percent higher than the I-69 Thumb Region.

“We want to connect more workers to good paying jobs that are available in our region,” said Janice Karcher, Senior Vice President of Economic Development at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. – G.G.

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