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Talent Tours introduce youth, parents, and teachers to available career paths in their region by offering a behind-the-scenes look into in-demand businesses and industries. The tours help students understand what opportunities are available in their area, as well as employer education and training requirements necessary to secure employment. Impacts include: relationship building, establishing a talent pipeline, talent retention, and the opportunity to see real-life application of coursework.

Talent tours take place at an employer's business in coordination with local schools and Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium. The tours show students what industries are located close to home, insight into what training is necessary to work in these industries, and can provide incentive to bring them back to northeast Michigan after occupational training and/or college.


  • Target local, in-demand industries.

  • Provide an overview of the industry and key examples of in-demand occupations.

  • Define educational requirements for in-demand occupations.

  • Tours are on-site at the employer's business, or at a simulated workplace providing hands-on experience.

  • Tours highlight "an average day on the job."

  • Potential should exist for job shadowing, internships, and work experiences with participating employers.


  • Michigan Works! facilitates relationship building between educational partners and businesses. Can sometimes help with transportation costs, depending on funding availability.

  • Businesses define the roles, skills and training expectations in their industry via short presentations, plant tours and hands-on experience.

  • Educational partners arrange transportation, monitor student safety and behavior, and encourage engagement and open communication.



Educators have been very impressed with the tours, finding them beneficial in assisting students with career pathway decisions and giving students the opportunity to see first-hand what each job entails.
"My students were fascinated at the employment possibilities your factory offers at a variety of education levels. Thank you for a peek into local employment opportunities."

Educator approved.


Students report that they are very excited to see in-person what the day-to-day operations of these industries look like, as well as receive guidance on what educational/training steps are necessary to get into these fields. Many students are surprised to learn such employment opportunities exist right in their area.

"I had no idea this kind of company even existed right in my town!"

Students love the experience!

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Employers are recognizing the skills gap between available positions and the applicant pool. With industries such as manufacturing, healthcare and others rebounding, employers are now finding it harder to fill openings with qualified workers. Talent Tours are an excellent way to educate the next generation of workers about the skills and education needed to maintain their workforce needs.

Benefits Local Businesses

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51 students from Alpena High School toured Besser Co. Students were able to tour the facility, hear about the company’s history, learn about what they manufacture, learn about their other plants throughout the US and abroad, and discuss the career path required to achieve these careers. During the manufacturing facility tour, students were shown different kinds of equipment, and many students were taken one-by-one by Besser employees (including the President of Besser) to be shown different aspects of equipment. Students were engaged throughout the tour, with one inquiring on how to fill out an application and others stating: “this helped me see a four year degree isn’t the only option”, “this place is the future”, and “[Besser] is always trying to invent new, better, and quick machines and love help from younger minds.”

Besser Co. - Alpena

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