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Letter: Chamber Proposes $400M Plan to Incentivize Workers to Reenter the Workforce Amid Increasing Demand

The Detroit Regional Chamber sent a letter to Michigan Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland) and Rep. Thomas Albert (R-Grattan Township) outlining a $400 million proposal for the 100K by Labor Day Back to Work Plan. Without spending additional American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, the plan extends the fundamental principles of a Michigan House proposal to address the critical need for employees to reenter the workforce amid growing customer demand.

Michigan businesses have told the Chamber that this is the number one issue they are facing right now, and the Chamber plan offers additional provisions to further incent both employees and employers to bolster Michigan’s recovering economy.

This plan suggests the use of $400 million in one-time ARP funds to be used for the following:

  • $2,000 return-to-work grant per returning or new employee: One-time grant, receivable upon 60 days of employment.  (ARP funds: $200 million)
  • $1,000 training grant to employers per returning or new employee: For employer use to provide training or an additional signing bonus, contingent upon eligible employee(s) remaining on the job for 60 days.  (ARP funds: $100 million)
  • $100 vaccine incentive for employers: Support employers covering costs associated with vaccine incentivization or compensating paid time off for employees getting vaccinated.  Capping the program at $100 million could encourage one million Michiganders to get vaccinated.  (ARP funds: $100 million)

Additionally, the letter suggests efforts to replenish the Unemployment Insurance Agency Compensation Fund without taxing employers by dedicating $150 million of American Rescue Plan funds for this purpose, which is a suggestion that Gov. Whitmer has made in the past.

View the full letter below.