Michigan must better align the talent of its people with the needs of job providers to ensure success in the new economy, Gov. Rick Snyder said today.

The governor released his Special Message to the Legislature on Talent Development during a news conference at Delta College in University Center. It offers strategies to reinvent the way in which we prepare children for fulfilling careers, reshape how Michiganders look for work and redesign the way in which employers obtain the skills they need.

“Tomorrow’s opportunities cannot be realized with yesterday’s skills,” Snyder said. “It’s time to develop the next generation of talent. Today’s young employees will have multiple careers in their lifetimes. The skills they attain must be marketable and transferable. We need to align the aptitudes and career passions of job seekers with the current and evolving needs of employers.”

Too few workers have the skills to meet employer demands in the new economy. Thousands of jobs remain unfilled despite Michigan’s 10.6 percent unemployment rate. The state faces significant staffing challenges in areas such as agriculture, nursing, engineering and welding.

The governor announced the launch of an online tool that will help ensure the state’s economic development and talent enhancement are occurring in tandem. Pure Michigan Talent Connect is a talent marketplace available at www.MiTalent.org. It eliminates the need for the multiple websites that now exist, many of which are duplication or incomplete.

The site will feature tools that job creators and job seekers need to make better-informed decisions. Users will be able to assess their skills, evaluate the return on investment for an education or training program, browse careers and connect with mentors.

The site is being launched in phases for a June 2012 completion.