Empowering Michigan Women: New Skills and Pay Initiatives Unveiled

In the heart of Michigan, a movement is underway that’s not just about breaking the glass ceiling but reshaping the entire building. The Michigan Women’s Commission, in partnership with Consumers Energy, is pioneering a path to empowerment through high-wage, skilled trades for women. This isn’t just about jobs; it’s about creating legacies of skilled, confident women who will lead and inspire generations.

A Personal Journey
Imagine you’re at a crossroads in your career. You have ambition, the drive to succeed, and a desire to earn more—not just to thrive but to provide for your family and secure your future. This is where the journey begins, with initiatives like the roundtable discussion hosted by the Michigan Women’s Commission and Consumers Energy, spotlighting not only the opportunities but the supportive path forward through registered apprenticeship programs.

Breaking Down Barriers
For too long, skilled trades have been viewed through a gendered lens, often perceived as the domain of men. This outdated notion is being dismantled as we speak. Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, emphasized at the recent roundtable that, “In order to address the gender wage gap and ensure equitable access to economic prosperity, we are breaking down barriers and creating pathways for women to enter high-wage jobs across all sectors.”  The roundtable event showcased Consumers Energy’s Registered Apprenticeship training programs as a key initiative to empower more women in skilled trades and pave the way for lucrative careers. This initiative is about rewriting the narrative, proving that these high-paying, skilled positions are not only attainable but are also welcoming and rewarding for women.

The Role of Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships are more than just training; they are a golden ticket to economic prosperity. With a promise of over $70,000 in median annual earnings upon completion, they represent a viable and lucrative career path. As one of the top states for registered apprenticeships, Michigan’s programs offer hands-on experience and the chance to earn while you learn, reducing the financial burden often associated with advancing education and skills.

Community and Support
“Behind every successful woman in these programs is a network of peers, mentors, and leaders cheering her on.” said Kendra Quinlan, co-founder of the Michigan Apprenticeship Network. During the roundtable, she underscored the importance of collaboration among industry, government, and educational institutions. “This support system ensures that once you step into this world, you are not alone—help is always at hand, and success is a shared goal.” she said.

As the landscape of skilled trades in Michigan evolves, so do the opportunities for women seeking high-wage, fulfilling careers. Curious about where to begin? Consider exploring the resources available at Michigan.gov/Apprenticeship. This is your opportunity to engage with a community that’s not just filling jobs, but redefining success in skilled trades for women.

The collaboration between the Michigan Women’s Commission and Consumers Energy is more than just a doorway to new opportunities—it’s a gateway to broader horizons for women across the state. Your participation in these initiatives not only enhances your own career prospects but also enriches the diversity and strength of our workforce. Take a moment to consider this path: it’s not just about advancing your own goals but also about forging a path toward a more inclusive and prosperous Michigan. Together, let’s envision and build a future where every woman’s potential is realized.

Crafting Your Future: The Ultimate Resume Guide for Blue-Collar Workers

picture of a resume on a clipboard being viewed by point of view. male with hands folded on table in blue shirt is softly focused in the background

At WSI, we do not require resume to apply for our client’s openings. But, in today’s competitive job market, having a polished resume is crucial—even for those who’ve never needed one before. This includes many blue-collar workers in manufacturing and service workers, who might find the idea of crafting a resume daunting or even unnecessary. But here’s the thing: A well-crafted resume can open doors to better job opportunities and financial stability, even for those traditionally in lower-income brackets.

Understanding the Modern Resume
A resume today isn’t just a list of past jobs—it’s a marketing tool designed to showcase your skills and achievements. According to Eric Ciechanowski, a career expert at LiveCareer, resumes have evolved significantly over the past five years, not just in length but in substance too. Gone are the days of the one-page resume; now, a two-page format that highlights a blend of hard and soft skills, certifications, and quantifiable achievements is the norm.

Starting Strong: Contact and Summary

Begin with your contact information followed by a professional summary. This isn’t the place to dive into your life story. Instead, think of it as an elevator pitch: who you are, what you can do, and how you can contribute to a potential employer. For example, instead of saying, “experienced in construction,” you could say, “Skilled construction worker with 10+ years of experience specializing in renovations and new home construction, known for swiftly mastering new techniques.”

Highlighting Relevant Experience and Skills
When listing your experience, focus on the most recent 10 to 15 years, as these are most relevant to employers today. More than just what you did, emphasize how well you did it. For instance, instead of “worked on assembly line,” try “Enhanced assembly line efficiency by 20% through streamlined workflow techniques.”

Using the CAR Method can help you identify challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

Quantifying Achievements: The CAR Method
The CAR (Challenge, Action, Result) format is recommended by experts like Marc Cenedella, founder of Ladders. This approach involves identifying a challenge you faced, the action you took to address it, and the result of your action, preferably quantified. For example:

Challenge: High waste levels in manufacturing processes.
Action: Implemented a new quality control system.
Result: Reduced waste by 15% within six months, saving the company $50,000 annually.

Education and Continuous Learning

Even if you haven’t attended formal education recently, any training or certifications can be a big plus. List any relevant courses or certifications under an “Education and Continued Learning” section. This not only shows your commitment to staying current but also enhances your appeal as a candidate who is proactive about personal and professional growth.

Hard and Soft Skills: Your Hidden Assets
Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities or skill sets that are easily quantifiable, such as welding or data analysis, whereas soft skills are less tangible and relate to one’s personality traits, such as teamwork and communication. Identifying and listing soft skills can be tricky, especially if you’re not accustomed to categorizing your capabilities. Begin by noting down the tasks you perform regularly, then match these to job listings you’re interested in. This can help you pinpoint which skills to highlight.

Skills often overlooked, like “time management” from successfully juggling multiple tasks, or “team coordination” from working with groups to complete projects, are incredibly valuable to potential employers. Soft skills can set you apart. These include problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and adaptability—skills often honed through life experiences rather than formal education. Amanda Augustine of TopResume highlights the importance of these skills, noting that they are crucial for adapting to diverse work environments and are often harder to teach than technical skills.

Customization: Tailor Your Resume

Every job application should see a customized version of your resume. This means tweaking your resume to include keywords from the job ad and focusing on the skills and experiences that align most closely with the job description. This customization extends to the layout too—keep it simple, use a standard font, and ensure the text is easy to skim.

Discovering Your Skills

For those unsure of their skill set, here’s a simple exercise:


  • List Past Jobs: Write down all the jobs you’ve held.
  • Identify Tasks: For each job, list out what you did.
  • Match to Skills: Look at job ads for the roles you want and match your tasks to the skills listed.

This exercise can help you see how your experiences translate into the skills employers are looking for.

A single or two-page resume of skills, work history, and education is all you need.

Parting Thoughts
Proofread your resume multiple times or have someone else check it for errors—spelling and grammar mistakes can undermine even the strongest content. And remember, while crafting a resume might seem like a chore, it’s a powerful tool in your job search arsenal. With each application, you’re not just detailing past jobs; you’re outlining why you’re the best fit for the future ones.

Creating a compelling resume can be a game-changer, particularly for those who have traditionally relied on word-of-mouth or informal job markets. By translating your life and work experiences into a format that recruiters can understand, you’re not just looking for any job—you’re opening the door to better opportunities that can lead to financial stability and career satisfaction.

Ford Pauses Marshall EV Plant: Six Signs It’s Only Temporary

downtown marshall michigan

Ford’s $3.5 billion EV battery plant in Marshall faces uncertainty amid the UAW strike. Despite the recently announced pause, Michigan’s manufacturing industry remains resilient, boasting a skilled workforce, innovation, and a commitment to securing its place in the electric vehicle revolution. Confidence in the state’s future endures.

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UAW Strike: An Ace up the Big 3’s Sleeve

workers strike for the uaw

What ace does the Big 3 have up their sleeve to leverage their negotiations? Read our blog to see a quiet threat to Michigan’s economy that could play into the strike.

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