News and Insights

Bold New Campaign Showcases Why “You Can in Michigan”

October 10, 2023

Michigan makes its pitch for American workers to take advantage of its high-tech jobs, quality of life, and welcoming community

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) today unveils a new talent attraction marketing campaign to fill open jobs, grow Michigan’s population, and drive the state’s economic future forward. The multi-year, multimillion dollar campaign showcases why “You Can in Michigan” by focusing on what makes life and careers in Michigan so compelling. It includes new television commercials, radio spots, print placements, social channels and, a new website full of resources including relocation information, lifestyle opportunities and a one-of-a-kind AI-driven platform to help with career placement called the Michigan Career Portal.

The campaign is fueled by the dedicated efforts of the MEDC’s Talent Solutions division, in coordination with multiple state agencies, to create career pathways and retain talent in Michigan. This one-of-a-kind approach brings together employers, education systems and universities, and the bold “You Can in Michigan” campaign to attract workers and train for and fill high-tech jobs in industries crucial to Michigan’s economy, like mobility, electric vehicles (EVs), semiconductors/chips, biosciences and clean energy. The economic development agency’s momentum is highlighted alongside Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s holistic approach to economic development through the “Make it in Michigan” strategy, a bipartisan effort designed to grow talent, improve communities and secure project investments in the state.

Pure Opportunity in Pure Michigan

The “You Can in Michigan” marketing campaign, from the people behind the award-winning Pure Michigan brand and Pure Opportunity business marketing campaign, leans on career opportunity, quality of life, and affordability to intrigue and inspire job seekers and entrepreneurs to consider Michigan as the ultimate destination to work, start or grow a business, play and thrive.

Amid a war for talent, the campaign brings to life the enviable economic opportunity available in Michigan for all kinds of workers, from techies on the coasts and city dwellers seeking affordability to young adults in rural communities with big dreams to impact the future. It features living and working in several communities across Michigan from Detroit and Grand Rapids to Traverse City and Houghton. The national campaign aims to attract people to Michigan and retain people already in Michigan, particularly graduating students. In addition to television, print and radio, campaign tactics include addressable and connected television, online video, paid social, Meta, TikTok and digital display.

Building on the success of its decades-long Pure Michigan campaign, “You Can in Michigan” utilizes compelling visuals, real-life people and its freshwater resources to demonstrate the year-round opportunities Michigan can offer permanent residents, not just visitors.

“We want people to know they can have it all in Michigan: a rewarding career, a fulfilling life, economic opportunity, fundamental freedoms – all with proximity to 3,000 miles of freshwater coastline,” said Michelle Grinnell, MEDC Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications. “Our people are our strongest asset, so we are proud to highlight their real stories in our great state and look forward to inspiring thousands more to make Michigan their home.”

An Unprecedented Effort

Michigan’s coordinated effort doubling down on talent attraction in policy, programs and marketing, including the creation of the Growing Michigan Together Council and first-ever state Chief Growth Officer role, has never been seen anywhere in the U.S at this scale and will grow for years to come with initial investment estimated at $59 million. $20 million is budgeted for the marketing campaign over the first two years, including production and creative development, with an initial $3.5 million budgeted for advertising through the end of this year.

This intrepid approach gives job seekers resources and reasons to believe they can in Michigan, focusing on affordability, career opportunities in targeted high-tech industries and personal testimonials from real-life, thriving residents. As part of the campaign, MEDC created, a launchpad for jobseekers to explore the state, calculate their cost of living and define and reach their career goals with the support of the Michigan Career Portal, powered by FutureFit AI.

“Complementing the work of MEDC’s Talent Solutions division, the You Can in Michigan campaign and is designed for all types of job seekers, from all types of backgrounds, from all over,” explained Kerry Ebersole Singh, MEDC EVP and Chief Talent Solutions & Engagement Officer. “The state and our people are working tirelessly to create big, life-changing opportunities through inclusive job creation and new education pathways. This marketing campaign encapsulates our momentum and enthusiasm for Michigan’s next chapter.”

“I was proud to help bring to life a campaign that really embodies why I chose to put down roots in Michigan,” added Nando Garza, the narrator and star of the campaign’s television spots. “I hope the campaign inspires people to dream big and realize they can truly have a life with everything Michigan has to offer. For me that’s being able to pursue the professional aspirations that nurture my soul and savor the joy of watching my family thrive in an affordable, vibrant community.”