Even the hardworking employees of Michigan’s energy industry must one day retire. So who will replace them and help carry Michigan into a sustainable energy future?
The prominent news site Business Insider offers some important insights, publishing an article in July titled “FEARLESS: Why A New Breed of Young Professionals Is Now Flocking To Downtown Detroit.”
It seems our state is no longer suffering from the population and talent flight we experienced during the worst of the economic recession. In fact, we’re now drawing new residents from other states. Young people—recent college grads and other professionals in their 20s and 30s — are seeing opportunity in Detroit and across Michigan.
The Impact for Energy
This means a couple of key things for Michigan’s energy future:
Our demand for energy will continue to increase; that’s a good thing because it means our economy will be moving forward, but it is also a daunting challenge.
Which leads to another implication—meeting our future energy needs will require new talent, fresh approaches, and a focus on energy independence.
Fortunately, Michigan already has a talented workforce, and our universities are educating young and old alike for careers in the energy industry. For some great examples, check out our blog post, “Higher Education Key to Developing Energy Resources and Michiganâ€™s Economy.”
And, as the Business Insider discusses, many of the young people moving to our area are professionals—the type of people who are good at starting up new businesses and attracting investment. They’re also typically the people most interested in energy innovation.
Michigan Energy Will Help Keep Jobs, Innovation, and Investment Here
All of these promising developments underscore the need for Michigan to continue on a course that supports local energy produced by Michiganders for Michiganders. Local energy will help create and support more local jobs, attract more investment, and enable us to continue to improve our communities and the quality of life for every Michigander. Local energy and the opportunities it creates will help keep talented, innovative, dedicated young professionals here, contributing to our state’s well being, rather than seeking opportunities elsewhere.
While some policymakers are considering policy proposals that could make us more dependent on out-of-state energy—and take investment and jobs out of our state in the process—we are confident that, working together, we can develop solutions that will make Michigan’s energy industry even stronger, and the future even brighter for everyone who lives and works here.