More than talk, state jobs website needed

Gov. Rick Snyder had a point Monday when he said finding ways to keep young people from leaving the state was critical to improving the overall jobs picture here.

Of course, recognizing problems and finding solutions are two very different things, but organizers of a two-day economic summit of sorts in Detroit where Snyder made the remarks hope that solutions, in fact, will be found to this and similar problems facing Michigan

The gathering, which concludes today, includes business, academic and government leaders. It is, at least in part, designed to help connect Michigan residents to employers, The Associated Press reported.

The governor pointed out that Michigan needs to do a better job matching a strong supply of students with marketplace demand. He made his point by highlighting 10 college students and recent college graduates, all of whom want to stay and work in Michigan.

According to AP, Snyder said the problem with aligning supply with demand can be seen in the state’s website, which lists about 60,000 open jobs. He said filling them would decrease the state’s jobless rate of 8.9 percent by 1.5 percentage points, AP said.

The governor recommended improving collaborations between academia and business. He said this week’s conference aims to find out what “the demand side” needs from prospective workers.

Certainly this summit is a step in the right direction. But simply identifying a problem and talking about it isn’t enough. The state, working with private industry and academia, must put into effect workable policies and procedures beyond a simple website that will facilitate this all-important connection. Otherwise multitudes of these conferences won’t make much difference.