UP Talent Summit highlights trade careers

MARQUETTE — The University Center on Northern Michigan University’s campus was packed full Friday as people came from around the Upper Peninsula to attend the U.P. Talent Summit.

The conference consisted of second-time keynote speak Jeremy Bout, two panel discussions among representatives from within the manufacturing, construction and education realms as well as several breakout sessions. The goal of the conference is to connect employees with employers to keep talented local residents in the U.P.

“It’s a great way to showcase some of the things happening around the Upper Peninsula,” said Executive Director of U.P. Construction Council, Tony Retaskie. “I think the other thing is it might be able to enlighten some people about what the young people are looking for when they graduate from high school.”

Bout, who travels around North America to talk about local economies and building trade careers in communities, was a hit last year and was asked to come speak again.

“This has taken me on a journey that I just never expected,” said Bout. “I’m here in the U.P. for year two. Year one, there was this ball of energy that happened around this idea that making things is great. Students need to understand that there are jobs in this area. I left the U.P. encouraged, but I also left challenged.”

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley also gave some remarks about the importance of the event via video message.