Success Stories: Michigan

Silhouette of State of Michigan

Why We’re Committed

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment & Training (LEO-E&T), together with Credential Engine, is making it easier for Michiganders to learn about credentials that lead to high-demand, high-paying jobs in the state. The collaboration means that opportunity seekers will be able to access and understand growing information about the nearly 13,000-degree programs, certification courses, apprenticeships, and other education and job training opportunities available in Michigan. Data published to the Credential Registry will then be incorporated into state systems and websites to assist state leaders to make decisions that help workers, employers, and training providers mobilize a workforce that is ready for the challenges of the future. LEO-E&T’s partnership with Credential Engine is increasing credential transparency and equitable and consistent opportunities for people across the state.

Collaborating Agencies

  • Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (Lead)
  • Michigan Department of Education
  • Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
  • Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget

Leveraging Credential Transparency to Support Michigan’s Goals

In 2019, the Governor set a statewide goal of increasing the number of residents with postsecondary credentials from 45% to 60% by 2030. While Michigan had robust ways to collect and share information about training programs, leaders realized they needed better ways to show connections between credentials and include credentials like licenses and certifications.

Led by LEO-E&T and guided by Credential Engine, the state embarked on a statewide initiative to align education and career success. The initiative includes:

  • Developing an understanding of career pathways and the education and training they require.
  • Expanding apprenticeship options where there are gaps, and a better understanding of the availability of pre-apprenticeship programs.
  • Expanding the Michigan Career Pathfinder website to include the associated licenses and certifications necessary to find employment in a particular field.


Since the initiative launched, the state’s technical team has mapped credential data from multiple sources and will publish the Eligible Training Provider List’s postsecondary institutions and proprietary schools’ programs. Inclusion of secondary school diplomas and career and technical education programs is being guided by Michigan Department of Education partners. The data is being mapped to the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) and published to the Credential Registry, ensuring that all credentials — regardless of provider — speak the same language. Together, LEO-E&T and its partners are building a culture that values credential transparency, which is moving the state toward its postsecondary credential goal for the future.


Why Credential Transparency Matters in Michigan

Credential transparency equips Michiganders who are looking for education and training options with data about the credentials in their areas of interest, including type, length, and associated costs and competencies. This knowledge empowers Michiganders to make better informed decisions about where and when to pursue opportunities in their state. Credential transparency also enables employers to better evaluate a credential’s ability to meet its workforce needs and allows organizations that assist students and workers to provide clear, concise information about the value of various credentials.

Credential Transparency: A Key Component of Grant Opportunities

As LEO-E&T has moved to make information about credentials in the state more accessible and easier to understand, it has pursued relationships with organizations that provide financial support for full transparency. This project was built into the LEO-E&T proposal to the U.S. Department of Labor, Workforce Data Quality Initiative grant opportunity in 2019.

Other grant providers require states to make information about all credentials publicly accessible through linked open data formats such as the CTDL. Credential Engine is assisting Michigan in meeting the requirements for credential transparency in its Reimagine Workforce Preparation grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The Michigan Learning and Education Advancement Program (MiLEAP), which is a recipient of those grants, helps Michigan job seekers make the leap from education and training to employment by delivering short- and mid-term customized training solutions. Using a common data infrastructure for these types of grants also helps advance credential transparency in critical industries, such as healthcare. Michigan Rural Enhanced Access to Careers in Healthcare (MiREACH), the state’s effort to address critical workforce shortages in healthcare fields in 57 rural counties in the state, will also be supported.