Michigan is one of the states most severely affected by the financial crisis that the nation is currently facing. Michigan has long been the home to the domestic auto industry and although Ford Motors is doing okay (relatively speaking), Chrysler and General Motors are fighting to stay afloat.

The problems experienced by the Detroit three automakers are helping to contribute to Michigan’s 11.6 percent, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (January 2009). The rate, reported on the Michigan Labor Market Information page, represents a 1.4 percent increase over December 2008 and a 4.3% increase over the previous 12 months. For comparison, the federal unemployment rate in January 2009 was 7.6 percent. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The state leadership is doing many things to help its citizens including offering tax incentives to companies like Mercedes-Benz and Th!nk if they build new facilities in the state. Another avenue the state is using to get its citizens back to work is the Green Today, Jobs Tomorrow conference.

The conference features a keynote address by Van Jones, the new Special Advisor for Green Jobs, and will be held at the Lansing Center on May 11. Although the conference is nearly two months out, I’m sharing the details today as the early registration deadline has been extended to March 31, 2009.

The conference will serve several different purposes including:

  • Driving Michigan’s Green Jobs Initiative and Green future, primarily workforce development and economic growth.
  • Providing an additional avenue for Green Sector Skill Alliances to come together, learn from, and engage with a wide array of stakeholders. Source: Michigan Green Jobs

The conference begins with registration and breakfast at 7:15 am. The main conference program runs from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and a networking reception follows. The early bird registration fee is only $110 and you can register online.

Michigan sponsors a green jobs conference
The Lansing Center will host Michigan’s Green Today, Jobs Tomorrow conference on May 11, 2009.