If you’re looking for a job in Michigan, Pure Michigan Talent Connect – a collaborative effort of the State of Michigan’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) – is your launch pad for new jobs, careers and talent. The site is an online marketplace connecting Michigan’s job seekers and employers.

In the last few years, Michigan’s international trade industry has flourished, exporting more than $58.6 billion worth of goods in 2013, setting a new record for the state. This is due, in part, to assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). MEDC’s “matchmaking” expertise helps connect businesses with opportunities. To help Michigan companies gain access to foreign markets, the MEDC has established offices in Brazil, Canada, China and Mexico, creating a need for talent in the industry. This growth creates opportunities to work in a high-growth industry in Michigan.

Below is a roundup of several hot jobs in the international trade and export market on mitalent.org.

Global Trade Compliance Intern – Federal Mogul

Southfield, Mich.

For students bringing a team-oriented spirit, an eagerness to learn and a strong analytical ability, this is an excellent opportunity to join the Finance and International Trade Team of a leading global Fortune 500 automotive supplier. Federal Mogul is looking for talented entry level Finance, or Business students for internship opportunities in our Global Trade Compliance department.

International Trade Compliance Director – Johnson Controls, Inc.

Plymouth, Mich.

In this position, the candidate will work as a member of the Automotive Supply Chain Management Team and under the framework of the Automotive Experience (AE) Compliance Management Team.  This individual will establish and manage regional trade managers and will provide uniform and consistent direction to all levels of the organization to ensure the deployment and sustainability of the International Trade Compliance Program Globally.

Trade Compliance Analyst – American Axle Manufacturing

Detroit, Mich.

The Trade Compliance Analyst will have responsibilities supporting global Supply Chain Management with U.S. Customs Import/Export regulations. The successful candidate will work in a lean, fast-paced and rewarding work environment, where he/she will have the support and encouragement for developing a great career and achieving exceptional performance to help AAM reach its goals.

Trade Compliance Professional – GHSP

Grand Haven, Mich.

In this position, the candidate will work with Supply Chain Management to ensure sourcing and supplier development policies and procedures include C-TPAT elements which ensure compliance with all annual supplier assessment requirements. The individual will also work closely with trade partners and GHSP systems experts to ensure all trade data is transmitted and received securely, efficiently and accurately.

Senior Trade Analyst – Livingston International

Southfield, Mich.

A Senior Trade Analyst is responsible for adhering to the Statement of Work (SOW) as executed between Global Trade Management and their clients. The selected candidate must have the ability to effectively communicate with the internal teams and brokers. The candidate will be responsible for broker management, oversight of the processes prescribed by their Supervisor, management of defects found in the metrics and reports created, and ownership of corrective actions, action registers, and customer deliverables.

Interested in any of the jobs listed above? Apply today or search for similar careers on mitalent.org.

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China’s booming economy is resulting in business opportunity for Michigan’s food producers.

As China’s economy has moved from being agriculturally to industrially driven, the country relies heavily on imports to meet the growing popularity of western and international food items that Chinese consumers want.

Michigan is known for its diversity of agricultural offerings, and the many high-quality food products that are grown and processed within the state. In fact, Michigan food and agricultural exports to China have increased more than 40 percent between 2012 and 2013, totaling over $52 million in revenue.

Currently, China is the fifth largest importer of Michigan products, a value that is only projected to increase.

Chinese consumers purchase Michigan food and agriculture products for their high quality, international flavor and convenience. In fact, consumers will often pay top dollar for these goods as they are not produced or available locally. Their increasingly busy lifestyles have contributed largely to Michigan’s high value exports, especially in regard to snacks or smaller meal items. When it’s not possible to have a family dinner, it is not uncommon for a Chinese household to rely on snacks alone. Younger generations have contributed greatly to the rise of processed and frozen convenience snack sales, as the convenience of a fast meal enters mainstream culture. The well-traveled population craving goods with international flavors has also promoted the rise of convenience stores, bulk retail outlets and western-style family restaurants. Rather than going to the grocery store daily for fresh goods, consumers have shifted to making one weekly trip to purchase longer lasting products, similar to purchasing practices in the West. With this change, there has been a large increase in home delivery, healthier options from foodservice operators and online marketing being used to attract consumers.

These unique shifts in demand in the Chinese market have created an increased opportunity for Michigan food and agriculture products to thrive in the Chinese marketplace. Specifically, dairy, fruits and vegetables are all exports that have experienced significant growth.

Statistics recently published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) show an increase in

Michigan’s overall food and agricultural exports, reaching $3.53 billion annually – increasing 8.9 percent from the previous year. Agricultural exports have doubled since 2010, meeting Governor Rick Snyder’s goal to double agricultural exports by 2015 to $3.5 billion. In 2013, the top five export markets for Michigan agricultural exports were Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and China.

Michigan companies interested in taking advantage of this growing market have many resources available to help in accessing the Chinese market. The International Marketing Program at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) along with Food Export Association offer resources to food and agriculture companies including export education, buyers missions, trade missions and reimbursement for international marketing costs. Specific to the Chinese market, the International Marketing Program at MDARD, in conjunction with Food Export, is offering a Focused Trade Mission to Northern China for food service products. This is an ideal way to make international contacts and develop relationships with Chinese importers. More information on exporting to China is available in the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service FAIRS Report.

For more information on Michigan exporting and international trade, visit Michigan.gov/AgExport and Michiganbusiness.org/grow/export-assistance

Jamie Zmitko-Somers authored this article. Jamie is the international marketing manager in the Agriculture Development Division at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).  

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GM, Ford, and Chrysler are global names. These Michigan-based brands can be found on the streets in every city from Sao Paolo to Shanghai. And, they’re not alone. Small businesses are increasingly entering new overseas markets as well, thanks in part to assistance from the MEDC International Trade Team.

As a small business, the hardest part can be taking the first step toward the international stage. The International Trade Team makes it their mission to ease the process. With offices in China, Brazil, Canada and Mexico, they already have strong relationships built within business communities.

What do these relationships mean for small business? The team already has an understanding of that nation’s trade – from trade laws to culture. When partnering with the MEDC, you gain access to knowledge as well as a matchmaking service to find your international niche.

It’s no surprise that Michigan’s top export is transportation equipment. Other large exports out of Michigan are machinery, chemicals and computer and electronic products.

Say, for example, you are interested in expanding your market to China – the third largest trading partner with Michigan. The Michigan China Center can help find the right businesses for you to work with and facilitate meetings and discussion. This is a solid business connection that already exists, giving your business credibility.

In order to participate in International Trade services, businesses first need to apply via www.michiganbusiness.org/export.

Learn more about international trade and exporting at events throughout the year. You can find upcoming events at events.michiganbusiness.org/calendar.

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Michigan is on the cutting-edge in training young talent for careers in burgeoning high-tech fields and connecting that talent with employers looking to fill jobs today and tomorrow.

The Michigan Advanced Technician Training program, or MAT2 , a three-year car
eer development program for young people looking to enter a career in the advanced skill trades, is helping employers find qualified STEM technicians and helping the next generation of talent find a high-growth career without the burden of student loan debt.

By combining time spent in the classroom with real world experience, MAT2 connects companies with interns who contribute like full-time employees while offering vital experience to students.

MAT2 students are immersed in three years of paid on-the-job training, gain an Associate’s degree in a high-tech field and are engaged in hands-on experiences necessary to thrive in the industry. What’s more, the student’s tuition is paid by their sponsoring organization throughout the duration of the program.

“MAT2 is designed to build competent, future leaders in the STEM industries in Michigan,” said Valerie Jemerson, project coordinator with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  “Companies don’t spend as much money on recruitment, retention and the re-training of new employees while being a catalyst in investing in the future of the industry.”


Companies that participate in MAT2 are seeing a benefit.  With more than 2,000 students applicants, participating organizations have the choice to identify the student that will best fit their businesses’ individual needs. Employers are able to request access to the applicant pool and select a candidate before even being accepted into the program.

Employers also are involved in the planning of the curriculum, so students are learning skills that the industries need.

“These colleges sit down with industry experts and determine what exactly is needed in the field,” said Jemerson. “The experts help design and develop the curriculum for the program which helps ensure the students come out of the program with the knowledge and skills that employers need.”

Under the MAT2 umbrella, specialized programs like Mechatronics, IT Technician, Technical Product Design (TPD) and Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC)  hone in on the individual training requirements of the STEM industries. These programs fit the MAT2 model of a work/education blend while putting focus on each trade’s specific training needs.

This year alone, MAT2’s specialized programs will open in Baker College – Cadillac and Charlevoix, Lansing Community College, Mott Community College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, North Central Michigan Community College – Petoskey, Henry Ford College and Delta College, respectively.

In the STEM trades, there will soon be a need for young and ready employees to fill the void as many current professionals enter retirement, and Michigan is on track to lead the talent development that will help close the skills gap.

This year, MAT 2 seeks commitment from interested employers by July 31. For more information on MAT2 and how to get involved, visit MITalent.org/MAT2

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Michigan Businesses Heat Up as Temperatures Drop

February 3, 2015 Great Companies

As Michigan residents continue to dig out from the snowfall and temperatures hover around freezing, winter means business for many Michigan companies. Behind the scenes: What goes into running a Michigan ski area Cannonsburg Ski Area in Belmont, for example, thrives on snow-covered slops and dedication from its hard-working team. With 18 ski runs, two terrain [...]

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R&D: Driving the Future of the Automotive Industry

January 29, 2015 Talent Enhancement
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This year, the North American International Auto Show drew its largest crowd in 12 years. More than 800,000 visitors hoped to experience some of the current and future products and technologies we’ll soon see on the road. But beyond this banner year for the show and the industry, is an untold story:  the automobile is [...]

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Michigan State of the State: Real Stories from the River of Opportunity

January 26, 2015 Business Growth

Changes announced during Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address will soon open up the “River of Opportunity” to Michigan residents who face barriers such as poverty, family issues, disabilities, lack of education or lack access to transportation. Helping people succeed, according to the Governor, means moving away from programs that only look at [...]

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Healthy Workplaces in Michigan Are Good for Business

January 23, 2015 Business Growth

Each year, Michigan businesses take extra steps to create healthier workplaces, which make for happier employees, but can also increase productivity and job satisfaction while decreasing absenteeism and compensation costs.  And each year, these initiatives are recognized by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports and the Michigan Fitness Foundation Organizations that excel [...]

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NAIAS: Michigan’s Brainpower Will Drive the Global Automotive Industry

January 21, 2015 Business Growth

The 2015 North American International Auto Show opened to the public this past weekend, drawing large crowds hoping to see some of the newest product launches and industry-changing innovations.  From Ford’s award-winning F-150 aluminum body and the Chevy Bolt to the first-ever 3D printed car, these technologies and innovations have one common thread:  brainpower. As [...]

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Michigan Leading the Way in Micro Lending for Small Businesses

January 20, 2015 Access to Capital

  Detroit will soon begin the removal of the blight that has affected the city’s neighborhoods and residents for many years, which in doing so, will create jobs throughout the city. Patrick Beal, CEO of Detroit-based Detroit Training Center saw this as an opportunity to help unemployed Detroit residents re-enter the workforce.  Through Detroit Training [...]

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