The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) announced Friday it
is awarding more than $677,000 to 17 local employers to help fund training opportunities for more than 500 workers.
Funds are being awarded through the Going PRO Talent Fund, which is a competitive funding
program that can help employers train, develop, and retrain current and new employees. Training plans approved by the state must be short-term and fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer. Training also must lead to a transferrable, industry-recognized credential.
Locally, companies applied for funding this past fall with the help of Michigan Works! West Central’s
Business Services Team. Training at those who received funds is expected to start as early as Jan. 1,
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Going PRO Talent Fund plays a vital role in helping
employers train, retain and hire new employees. By providing them with industry-recognized training
opportunities, these 17 employers will be better situated to navigate the future workforce landscape,” said Shelly Keene, Michigan Works! West Central executive director. “The Talent Fund is an investment in Michigan’s workforce helping provide the critical skills necessary for a wide variety of in-demand jobs across our region. I applaud our Business Services Team for all of their hard work during the application period and congratulate our award winners.”
Statewide, $40 million is being awarded through the program to train about 30,000 workers. In
Michigan Works! West Central’s six-county coverage area – Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana
and Osceola counties – 28 applications were submitted in October, totaling $1,024,521 in training
funding requests. Seventeen applications were approved, totaling $677,041 to upskill 515 individuals, including 12 new U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) registered apprentices.
The following companies are being awarded funds to train their respective workforces:
? Family Health Care
? StealthCraft Boats
? The Brill Company
? Change Parts Inc.
? Great Lakes Castings LLC
? Medilodge of Ludington
? ServePro of Scottville
? Superior Exteriors
? UACJ Automotive Whitehall Industries
? Leprino Foods
? Magna Mirrors Newaygo
? Nestle-Gerber Products
? Michigan Freeze Pack
? Northern Precision Products
? Papa’s Place Adult Day Care
? Reed City Group
? Yoplait/General Mills
The Going PRO Talent Fund (formerly the Skilled Trades Training Fund) began in 2014. In the first
seven years of the program, Michigan Works! West Central helped secure more than $2.9 million to
train more than 2,700 workers at more than 50 different companies in its service area. Of those 2,600- plus workers, 76 were new USDOL registered apprentices.
The Going PRO Talent Fund aligns with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 goal to increase the
number of working-age adult with a skill certificate or college degree to 60 percent by 2030. LEO awards the annual funds, which are then administered by the local Michigan Works! agencies.
Michigan Works! West Central’s Business Services Team will continue to work with this year’s
awardees to file all the necessary paperwork to ensure they maximize their funding reimbursement
“The Going PRO Talent Fund is an invaluable funding source for Michigan businesses looking to
upskill their workforce and train new hires. It’s just one of the many tools Michigan Works! West Central has available to offer to businesses in our region,” said Michigan Works! West Central Business Services Director Merri Bennett. “We are very pleased with this year’s talent fund awards. Our Business Services Team is ready to work with this year’s winners to maximize their awards upon training completion.”