Age of youngest Baby Boomers by 2026


employees eligible to retire in 5-10 years

$49 billion

 in lost earnings
through 2026

*Specific data and statistical sourcing can be found in the official Community Report.

Baby Boomers are rapidly aging out of the workforce. Michigan needs more highly trained workers to bridge the employment gap in high-wage, high-skill and high-demand careers.    

The Perfect Storm

Michigan employers are facing a serious shortage of employees in crucial areas, including healthcare, information technology, construction and manufacturing. Combine the growing number of retirees with other demographic shifts — such as the mass exodus of young families from Michigan during the Great Recession — and add in changes in technology, automation and outsourcing, and the issues become clear. Students need career coaching and training sooner, so they can discover employment that they enjoy. Work-based learning and increased opportunities for credentials and certificates will ensure students are well prepared for the high-demand, high-wage careers that are available — careers that will allow them to earn a good living here.  


At a time when post-secondary education is more expensive than ever, it's also more important than ever. With a comprehensive redesign of  CTE, we have the opportunity to improve access to training and better support our students and community. 

Labor Market Demand

Source: (Re)Defining the Goal: The True Path to Career Readiness in the 21st Century, Kevin J. Fleming, Ph.D. July 2016

Meeting the Need:
Creating a World-Class Career & Technical Education System

Young people need to see what they can be, based on their individual strengths and interests. We can help them meet the economic demand for highly skilled workers by beginning career readiness and exploration sooner. We can equip them with the skills they need to be successful in the 21st Century by developing and maintaining state-of-the art equipment and facilities while boosting job training experiences in the workplace. By increasing opportunities to earn certificates and industry-recognized credentials, we can help more students graduate from high school with the skills they need to succeed in the world of work. The end result? An energized, highly trained and well paid workforce, connected and fully staffed employers, and a vibrant and thriving local economy.  

Our Timeline

January 2018

Phase One

Strategic, collaborative analysis with educational partners

May 2019

Phase Three

Design Teams work to design a world-class K-12+ framework

January 2020


If millage passes,

implement CTE Redesign



January 2019

Phase Two

Convene three Design Teams made up of 75 education, business and community members

Nov. 5, 2019

Election Day

In January 2019, 75 education, business and community members were recruited to create three Design Teams. 

Those teams engaged in research, data review, site visits and interviews. Their work led to specific recommendations for a new, world-class system of K-12+ Career and Technical Education in Kalamazoo County. 


You can view full research, analysis and recommendations of the three Design Teams in the official Community Report.

In the southwest Michigan region, manufacturing registers the highest number of employees over the age of 55. This may make the region susceptible to potential talent shortfalls, especially if there are not enough skilled workers to replace existing workers upon retirement or other exits from the labor market. Southwest Michigan and a few other regions are unique in this regard, as many regions see the largest number of older workers in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.

*Source: State of Michigan, Department of Technology, Management, and Budget

Contact Us

 ​​Kalamazoo RESA

1819 E. Milham Ave., Portage, MI 49002

Tel: 269-250-9200


​​​​© 2023 by Kalamazoo RESA.

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