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Doug DeVos and Friends say they want to create opportunities, but they really just need skilled workers to help them make more profits

June 21, 2017

Last month we posted a story about a new report from the local group Believe 2 Become about Workforce Development. The report was arguing the need to create more “opportunities” for students, but tended to focus on building stronger relationships between the business community and the schools.  

The Believe 2 Become report also references the talent management group Talent 2025, which has identified these three goals for West Michigan, if the economy is to grow. Below is what Talent 2025 is suggesting and our own translation of what they are proposing.

In the report there are also quotes from representative of the local power structure. You can see what Doug DeVos says here, which is really a way of saying, “we need more skilled workers in order to increase our profits.”

Recently, the Believe 2 Become report was the focus of gathering of local power brokers, who came together to discuss ways in which to facilitate a deeper relationship between schools and the business community.

Here is the video that provides a summary of the invitation only gathering that took place at Meijer Gardens. Pay close attention to which voices are heard.

It’s interesting that there are three women who set up the video, who are then followed by several people who make up the West Michigan Power structure, particularly Doug DeVos, Rockford Construction CEO Mike VanGessel, Peter Haines from the Ottawa Intermediate School District, Shana Welch from Mercy Health, Kenyatta Brame with Cascade Engineering, President of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Rick Baker, Kevin Stotts with Talent 2025 and Teresa Weatherall Neal – Superintendent of the Grand Rapids Public Schools.

The most instructive thing shared in the video is when Doug DeVos says that the people to fix the workforce shortage problem are in this room. Again, people with power making decisions for the rest of us, because they know best what we need and what we want.

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