ISHPEMING / MARQUETTE — Two new appointments to Governor Rick Snyder’s Talent Investment Board are from the U.P.
Appointed are Paul Arsenault of Ishpeming. He is the President of Concepts Consulting and a licensed residential builder. Tony Retaskie of Marquette, s the Executive Director of the Upper Peninsula Construction Council and Co– Chair of Michigan works. Each brings a set of unique talents the governor feels can be used to move Michigan forward.
“I’ve been involved with workforce initiatives for 25 years and in economic development, even in my private sector career as a business finance consultant, I bring a lot to the table. I understand our region, I understand our needs, I understand our culture and I have a lot of business connections, so we will know our training needs and our employment needs are for the community,” said Paul Arsenault, President, Concepts Consulting.
“So our task is to advise the governor in the new WIOA Act which stands for Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. It is really all about finding talent and folks that want to enter the workforce but need a little bit of training or a bit of help to advance their careers.
A challenge for these two new appointees will be the size of the prosperity regions. The U.P. will have the largest region to bring together, spreading all the way from Chippewa to Gogebic counties. But each appointee already has an arsenal of ideas.
“One of the most important things is to form a connection between business and education, one of the problems we have is that business needs skilled people and they know ahead of time what they need but a lot of time our educational system do not understand the needs of the businesses and what the skill sets are, so if we can form a solid connection there, it will be helpful to the business and the people seeking work, continued Arsenault.
“I work with eleven different apprenticeship training programs here in the U.P. that are involved in the construction industry and a lot of what we are seeing is not enough applicants coming in. The pool of applicants is a little bit less than what we are looking for. Sometimes it is math skills and other skills they need and they should upgrade themselves a little bit,: continued Retaskie.
These are two–year terms that expire April 15, 2017. The first meeting is scheduled for Mid June.