The state of Michigan has unveiled a new state-of-the-art online career exploration tool to help people design successful career pathways.
The pilot program is called Pathfinder and has been distributed within the Saginaw Intermediate School District. The online program offers job seekers specific career planning data, including detailed job projections, annual openings, growth potential, salaries and schools in Michigan offering programs of interest. It helps students, parents and school guidance staff make informed choices about educational and career options.
Michigan Talent Investment Agency Wanda Stokes says the program is designed for Michigan residents or those who want to live in the state.
“It works as a talent attraction tool as well, so if you have individuals who are thinking about or considering moving to Michigan, then what they’ll find is they have a resource they can go to that can give them data about where (to) live, what schools are in that exact community, what kind of services do they have.”
Stokes says Pathfinder explores all avenues of career development and preparation in a comprehensive program.
40 students from around Michigan were chosen to participate in the pilot, with four from Saginaw County. They’ve already seen the program’s benefits. Arthur Hill High School senior Trevion Holt is looking at a future in mechanical engineering. He says the program has already shown him a variety of school choices in the state.
“When I put in ‘mechanical engineering,’ it gave me a ton of colleges I could go to around Michigan for mechanical engineering, which is definitely helpful.”
Saginaw Heritage High School senior Marilyn Knapp-Beckrow wants to go into veterinary medicine. She says she discovered several more career options in her chosen field.
“There’s a lot more things that I never really considered until I went through (Pathfinder). It said you have to choose your field of study and it showed you all those specific options you could have.”
Students aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the Pathfinder program. It’s free and open to anyone who is looking for work, from students to veterans to people thinking of making a career change. State Senator Ken Horn says partnerships like the one with Michigan Works make it a perfect place for assistance with the program.
“They can also guide you and counsel you on how to find your way through that path. So if you decide you want to go into nursing or nutrition or into a skill like electrician, carpenter or welding.”
Pathfinder will be available in 500 districts around the state. For more information about the program, visit Pathfinder.MITalent.org.