New Data Shows Nearly 90% of Michigan Jobs Require Digital Skills, One-Third of Workers Currently Have Low or No Digital Skills

January 22, 2024

Michigan has access to federal funds to address the digital skills gap across priority sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Jan. 22, 2024) – The National Skills Coalition (NSC) released new data spotlighting the demand for digital skills in Michigan’s labor market. The NSC analysis found that 89% of jobs analyzed require digital skills, including those in Michigan’s priority sectors like manufacturing, healthcare and agriculture. Previous NSC research found one-third of workers lack the foundational digital skills necessary to enter and thrive in today’s job market, pointing to a significant divide in Michigan’s workforce readiness.

The findings come at a pivotal moment as states plan to implement the historic $40 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program (BEAD), part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress in 2021. Over the next few years, more than $1.5 billion will be directed to Michigan through the BEAD program to advance digital equity among populations most impacted by the digital divide.

“By closing the skills gap, we can better prepare Michiganders for economic opportunity, increase workforce readiness, and build on the work we’ve done to connect homes and businesses to high-speed internet,” said Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II. “Digital skills training gives people the tools to benefit from their connected communities and can improve the lives of people across the state of Michigan.”

Over the next year, the NSC will work with policymakers, its member state coalitions, Comcast, and non-profit partners to ensure local, state and national leaders are aware of and take advantage of public sector digital equity funds to invest in skill development programs.

“This new research demonstrates the urgency—and the payoff—if Michigan directs a significant portion of BEAD resources to high-quality digital skills training programs,” said Rachel Unruh, National Skills Coalition Chief of External Affairs. “Digital skills bring the magic to connectivity, and are essential to advancing equity, opportunity, and economic growth.”

The new report also found that public investments to close this digital skill gap can generate measurable economic payoff for workers, businesses and the broader economy. For workers, moving from a job that requires no digital skills to one that requires just one digital skill can yield a 23% increase in wages. For employers, providing workers with upskilling opportunities can save businesses $25,000-$78,000 in turnover and retention costs per employee.

The demand for digital skills was found across every industry and in almost every occupation, including entry-level and frontline positions. The most in-demand digital skills in Michigan include data entry, computer literacy, and Microsoft Excel. High-demand, industry-specific skills include construction and manufacturing software, electronic medical record software, SAS statistical software, and SAP.

“Gaining a new digital skill is like turning on the electricity after a lifetime of burning candles,” said Marcus Keech, Grand Rapids Chamber Director of Government Affairs. “Our goal is to fuel the continued growth of our workforce by working together with policymakers, business leaders, and organizations like Comcast to address gaps and accelerate workforce potential—supporting digital skills education will help us do exactly that.”

To support Michigan’s digital equity journey, Comcast has invested more than $855 million in technology and network infrastructure, and more than $13.5 million in cash and in-kind contributions to nonprofit organizations across Michigan in the last three years.

“Digital skills training unleashes the potential of high-speed internet within homes and businesses,” said Craig D’agostini, Comcast Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs. “We’re proud to be a partner in Michigan’s digital equity journey, and to continue to work with policymakers and community leaders to close the digital divide. Together, we can ensure the success of Michigan’s workforce, today and tomorrow.”

Project UP is Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to advancing digital equity in the company’s footprint in Michigan and across the country. To support Michigan’s digital equity efforts, Comcast offers several programs to increase internet accessibility and skills training opportunities, including:

  • The Comcast Internet Essentials program provides low-cost, high-speed broadband service to income-constrained households, connecting more than one million students, parents, veterans and seniors in Michigan.
  • Comcast also participates in the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides qualifying households a $30 monthly credit toward internet and mobile services—often making internet service in the home free.
  • Comcast operates more than 60 Lift Zones across Michigan. Lift Zones are robust Wi-Fi hotspots in safe spaces designed to help students get online and participate in remote learning. Many sites also serve adults and can connect them to job searches, healthcare information and public assistance, and digital skills content.


About National Skills Coalition
National Skills Coalition fights for inclusive, high-quality skills training so that people have access to a better life, and local businesses see sustained growth. We engage in analysis and technical assistance, organizing, advocacy, and communications to improve state and federal skills policies.

About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, Peacock, NBC News, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit for more information.

Press Contacts:
National Skills Coalition
Nicky Lauricella Coolberth

Comcast – Heartland (Michigan, Indiana & Kentucky)
Amy Pietzak

Samantha VanHoef