Aug. 19, 2022
On Friday, Aug. 19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce Michigan Strategic Fund approval of more than $2.8 million in Training Center Equipment Grants to 74 training providers around the state. The funds will be used to provide employer-driven workforce training, skills development, equipment training, and more to Michigan workers.
“Michigan’s skilled workforce is powering our economic growth, and I am proud that we are making additional investments to expand training, skills development, and more to help them succeed,” said Gov. Whitmer. “We are working with several partners to build on our economic momentum, ensuring that Michiganders in every region of our great state can get on a path to a good-paying job and businesses of all sizes have the resources and talent they need to compete in the global economy.”
The State of Michigan allocated $3 million to the Michigan Strategic Fund to implement the Michigan Workforce Training Center Equipment Grant program. The program provides one-time grants to qualified training providers that were identified in consultation with 15 local and nonprofit economic development organizations (EDOs) around the state. Eligible applicants included proprietary schools, registered U.S. Department of Labor joint apprenticeship training centers, qualified employers with a physical presence in the state, and vendors that provide training for the operation of equipment and machinery.
Eligible workforce training activities include, but are not limited to, talent enhancement, increasing worker productivity, development of workforce skills, leadership and management training, and worker retention. The full list of awards is available at https://www.michiganbusiness.org/workforce-training-grant/.
As one of the grant administrators, Lakeshore Advantage was allocated $105,000 to support the Thompson M-TEC/Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, Grand Rapids Community College, and the Allegan County Area Technical and Education Center. The funds will be used for adult education, community college manufacturing education, and vocational training.
“Our training providers are educational catalysts for the ongoing development of our local workforce,” said Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens. “As lakeshore companies continue to grow and expand, the need for a trained workforce becomes more pressing. The Michigan Workforce TEC Grant Program helps ensure our training providers have the appropriate equipment to help workers and students achieve the credentials and skills needed to be successful in today’s marketplace.”
The Training Center Equipment Grant program is just one of the initiatives launched by the State of Michigan to support the development of highly-skilled talent in the state. Earlier in August, Gov. Whitmer joined the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) in announcing a new partnership with Google to connect 500 local job seekers with no-cost access to Google Career Certificates training to help Michiganders land good-paying, high-demand jobs in growing fields.
Additionally, the Michigan Reconnect Program, launched in 2021, provides free or reduced community college tuition for students 25 and older who have not yet earned a degree. Currently, more than 100,000 Michiganders are enrolled in the program, and an additional $55 million allocation was recently approved with bipartisan support by the Michigan Legislature for the program for fiscal year 2023.
Building on its commitment to providing concierge-level support to businesses looking to grow and expand in Michigan, the MEDC recently convened a Talent Action Team to launch the first focused effort on supporting the talent transition in the electric vehicle and mobility sectors. The team’s goal is to train thousands of workers in the first year by delivering professional development programs that engage workers in improving their skills and competencies in line with in-demand roles.
“Talent is the key to unlocking the success of our employers and attracting new investment to the state. These grants build on our efforts to develop the type of talent that will make Michigan top choice for businesses looking to grow or relocate to Michigan,” said MEDC Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Solutions Officer Kerry Ebersole Singh. “We are committed to creating a culture of lifelong learning here in Michigan, while investing in programs and opportunities like these that will help our workforce begin preparing today for the jobs of tomorrow.”
To learn more about Michigan’s workforce, visit www.michiganbusiness.org/workforce.
“Mid-Michigan College helps thousands of people every year get the skills they need to find a good-paying job and take the next step in their careers. Their training programs are also an important part of our local economy, partnering with local businesses to find the skilled workforce they need to grow and succeed here at home,” said Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth (R-Farwell). “I am always proud to support Mid, and I am glad we were able to provide this critical funding in the budget. This is exactly the sort of program we should support and encourage statewide as we look to close the skills gap.”
“Investments like this prove that Michigan is doubling down on its commitment to train and prepare folks for high-skill, high-wage, high-demand jobs,” said Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint). “If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to advance your career, there has never been a better time than right now to learn that new skill or start on a new path, thanks to leadership from Governor Whitmer, the MEDC, and their partners.”