Training grants to upskill Michigan employees open to businesses focused on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan employers looking to take advantage of the Going PRO Talent Fund program will be able to apply for a share of at least $40 million in competitive training funds available to Michigan businesses, September 30. The Going PRO Talent Fund helps individuals secure employment, industry-recognized credentials and strong wages by providing training grants to Michigan businesses to support employees in high-demand, skilled trades industries.
In 2021, SEMCA Michigan Works! received $2.9 million to train workers at 76 companies in the region.
Going PRO Talent Fund provides grants to assist in training, developing and retaining current and newly hired employees. New this year is a priority on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion focused on providing grants for minority-owned, women-owned, Veteran-owned, Individual With A Disability (IWD) owned or a Geographically-Disadvantaged Business.
“It is our mission to expand economic opportunity and prosperity for all,” said Susan Corbin, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity director. “Focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion ensures these underrepresented populations stay competitive and are afforded opportunities to succeed. A more diverse workforce brings fresh ideas to businesses, leading to a stronger Michigan economy.”
Training must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer and lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and industry recognized.
“Since the program’s launch, Going PRO Talent Fund has provided training for more than 121,000 Michigan workers, supporting the needs of over 40,000 business, upskilling the workforce and contributing to the increase in post-secondary credentials supporting the Governor’s Sixty by 30 educational attainment goal,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training.
Going PRO Talent Fund grants are awarded to employers through the Michigan Works! network (MWAs). Participating employers play an integral role in defining their key training needs, then work with the local MWAs and other partners to develop an appropriate, realistic training plan.
“The Going PRO Talent Fund is essential to helping Michigan businesses meet the growing demand for skilled workers and provides individuals with industry-recognized credentials that lead to higher wages,” said Michigan Works! Association CEO Ryan Hundt. “Employers increasingly seek out Michigan Works! services and see the workforce system as a partner to better support their business goals and the goals of their employees.”
Among other responsibilities, employers are expected to provide financial or in-kind contributions in support of the training project, as well as use Pure Michigan Talent Connect and SEMCA Michigan Works! to recruit for job openings.
Businesses interested in learning more or applying for funding should contact their local SEMCA Michigan Works! American Job Center. Have questions? Please contact Colleen Mallory for more information.
The application period ends October 28, and selected applicants will be announced in December 2021.