Local businesses get $3.2 million for customized employee training

Kevin Delancey, far left, and Laura Oliver, far right, both of Humphrey Products, receive a check for the Going PRO Talent fund from Michigan Works! Southwest's Devon Ivy, Ashley Iovieno and Jessica Meskil.

Thirty local businesses working with Michigan Works! Southwest will receive $3.2 million for worker training through a state grant award. The businesses participate in the Going PRO Talent Fund, which helps businesses train, develop and retain employees. 

The awards are part of the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s $47.8 million first cycle of grants for 2023. Employers define their training needs and work with Michigan Works! agencies to develop strategic training plans. The department then makes Going PRO Talent Fund awards to employers through the Michigan Works! agencies. 

Training provided through the program must fill a demonstrated need and lead to a credential for a skill that is recognized by the industry and transferable among employers. 

The awards, announced Jan. 31 by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, represent the first round for 2023. Demand from businesses has led the state to expand the program with a second round, set to open this spring. 

Since the program's launch in 2014, more than 6,000 Michigan businesses have received Talent Fund awards. The fund has provided training for approximately 170,000 workers.

Businesses in Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties who are interested in the Going PRO Talent Fund can contact Jessica Meskil

Date: February 20, 2023