Michigan launches online Pathfinder career exploration website in Saginaw

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SAGINAW (WJRT) (11/06/2017) - A new state website was unveiled in Saginaw on Monday that is designed to match people's career goals with in-demand jobs.

Michigan's new Pathfinder website is designed for students and job seekers to explore different careers and see how they stack up against each other with wages.

"This is the future of Michigan as far as job exploration," said Wanda Stokes of the Michigan Talent Investment Agency. "It allows you to take Michigan data and use that to not only identify various careers within Michigan, but to evaluate what the cost of living and location, the various jobs that are there."

The launch of the website took place at the offices of the Saginaw Intermediate School District, where four students have been using the tool in a pilot program.

"I kind of knew what I kind of wanted to go into," said Christopher Lowe, a senior at Freeland High School.

He wants to become a chef and own a restaurant. The website opened his eyes a bit when it came to income for people starting out in that career path.

"I was surprised to the wages for that much," Lowe said. "It was a little lower than I was expecting."

But he's sticking with his career path.

While high school students are might find great value in Pathfinder, it's designed mostly for people who might be looking to make a career shift.

"There isn't an industry in Michigan that is struggling to find good people," said State Sen. Ken Horn, a Republican from Frankenmuth.

He pointed out there are many science, technology, engineering and math jobs -- the STEM positions -- that are high-paying but go unfilled because there aren't qualified candidates. Pathfinder will prepare students for career readiness in these fields.

"We've been trying to diversify our economy in Michigan and this is a tool that could really help us," Horn said.

The website is funded though state appropriations and grants. Pathfinder can be located on any state website.

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