Cathy Potter


Cathy Potter was laid off from a manufacturing job in 2006, and had the opportunity to attend West Shore Community College in the Computers in Business program. She is now able to work in the new alternative energy industry. Having a degree helped her to obtain the job and she uses her new skills every day.

The New Economy

Also known as "The Knowledge Economy," The New Economy gets a lot of press. You've probably heard about it before, but what does it really mean?  The New Economy is about how things are changing in business and jobs. (Click here to see Michigan's place in global competitiveness.)  Every type of job now calls for new skills. For instance, a job in manufacturing used to involve routine work - snapping two parts together on an assembly line or pushing buttons on a machine. Now, to work in manufacturing, you have to work on a team, solve problems  and make decisions quickly and your math skills have to be much higher than they used to be.  For even more information, watch the video at the end of this page from Elaine Wood, CEO of Northwest Michigan Council of Governments

To learn about working in the new world of manufacturing, view the Career Spotlight* produced by Northwest Michigan Council of Governments.

You can also click here to learn about working in healthcare or working in Information Technology.

Click here to see the trends in Michigan job opportunities and what education is required.


Why is work changing? (click to see more)

Because business is changing. Companies have to make money to survive . They have to create new products that people want to buy, and they have to create them in the most efficient way. That means demanding more of their workers. It also means that workers get to be more involved in the process, decision-making, and quality assurance. Work is more fulfilling  than ever before. Click here to see Michigan's top 50 jobs!

Click here to see future trends in the workplace.


What skills do I need? (click to see local workshops)

You will definitely need the skills that are related to your job. If you work as a nurse, you'll need to know how to start an IV. If you build computers, you'll need to know the difference between RAM and a hard drive.

There are also skills that are universal - skills that everyone needs, no matter which job they have. The Career Skills for the New Economy* series, also produced by Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, describes these skills.

Click here to do a Skills Inventory and how your skills  relate to different careers.

Click here to do quick quizzes for job skills, job tests and even your dream job.



* Career Spotlight and Career Skills for the New Economy are products of the Education Advisory Group, an advisory committee to the Northwest Michigan Workforce Development Board.