SEMCA Michigan Works! Receives $2.875 Million to Train Workers at 50 Companies


The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity – Workforce Development (LEO-WD) has announced that SEMCA Michigan Works! will receive $2.875 million as part of the 2023 Going PRO Talent Fund (GPTF) Cycle 1 Award. With this announcement, $47 million in Going PRO Talent Fund grants were awarded to nearly 750 Michigan businesses to support their in-demand, high-skill talent needs, and help approximately 27,000 workers across the state secure employment, industry-recognized credentials and strong wages. Since launching in 2014, the Talent Fund has helped more than 6,000 Michigan businesses and 170,000 workers.

LEO-WD awards the funds to employers who must work with a Michigan Works! Agency (MWA). SEMCA is the Michigan Works Agency for the counties of Monroe and Wayne (outside Detroit). “The SEMCA Michigan Works! Cycle 1 award will provide training funding to 13 Monroe County employers, 36 Wayne County employers and one company in a neighboring county,” said Colleen Mallory  SEMCA’s Workforce Programs Manager. “A total of $17.18 million has been awarded to businesses in the SEMCA region since Fiscal Year 2014.”

“The positive impact on our business from participating in the GPTF program has not just met our expectations, but exceeded them,” Darren Fowlkes, Human Resource Assistant at GD Top Notch Cleaning Service Inc., said. “We were able to secure a large project cleaning shelving in the Gardner White warehouse facility that would have otherwise not been possible before the training. This one project accounted for over 70% of our average monthly profits single-handedly.”

SEMCA Michigan Works! Business Services staff conduct fact-finding sessions with employers to assess their talent skill gaps, suitable training providers and availability of all potential training funding sources. They can then determine whether Talent Fund awards would be appropriate to help close the skills gap. During the application period, SEMCA submits Talent Fund applications to LEO-WD on behalf of the partnering employer.

“The Talent Fund provides grant funding that allows area companies to invest in their most valuable asset – their people – to allow their business to compete and grow. Each company has a unique approach as to how they will tailor their training for new employees or for upgrading the skills of existing employees,” said SEMCA Michigan Works! CEO, Gregory Pitoniak. “The Talent Fund is flexible enough to meet the needs of many Michigan employers.”

Get a second chance at funding – Cycle 2 Funding

In previous years, employers had one opportunity each fiscal year to apply and receive a Going PRO Talent Fund award. We are excited to announce that in 2023, if an employer completed a Cycle 1 application and were not awarded, or they simply were not ready to apply, employers have the unprecedented opportunity to apply again in Cycle 2. The Cycle 2 application period opens May 1 and closes May 22, 2023.

Learn more about the Talent Fund and Cyle 2 application by attending one of the virtual Employer Information Sessions below.

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