Since 2015, the State of Michigan has dedicated millions of dollars for grants to help employers train their workforce. Availability of Skilled Trades Training Funds has been approved on an annual basis to date, but pending legislation will provide long-term operation of the funding program.
Under Senate Bill 946, the program would be renamed Going Pro Talent Program, but the purpose would remain the same: to provide competitive awards to qualified employers for “workforce training, including, but not limited to, talent enhancement, increasing worker productivity, development of workforce skills, leadership and management training, and worker retention.” Michigan Works! will continue to work with employers to submit fundable applications.
“Designing, developing, implementing, and supporting solutions for our clients requires training, certifications, trust of our clients and passion of our employees. The Going Pro Talent Program supports that.”
– Melissa Engle, Open System Technologies
While the majority of funds allotted to West Michigan have gone to manufacturers, they aren’t the only employers who have benefited from the funding program. Of the 212 awards from the 2018 funding cycle, 21 awards went to construction; 23 to health care; 14 to information technology; 8 to agriculture/food processing; and 6 to the service industry.
Melissa Engle, a vendor program management specialist with Open Systems Technologies (OST), provided testimony at a hearing on April 19. According to Engle, being able to offer training to new hires and existing employees is key to attracting and retaining employees and helps keep high tech talent at OST and in Michigan.
“To be competitive in an industry whose only constant is change, we must stay ahead of the tech trends and help bring those solutions to our customers,” Engle said. “Designing, developing, implementing, and supporting solutions for our clients requires training, certifications, trust of our clients and passion of our employees. The Going Pro Talent Program supports that.”
West Michigan Works! will continue to keep employers updated on the bill’s progress.