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Workforce Development Funding

(BIG RAPIDS, MI) – The state announced in late December it has awarded nearly $350,000 to Michigan Works! West Central to help employers with workforce development. The money was made available through the Going Pro Talent Fund (formerly the Skilled Trades Training Fund or STTF). Companies applied for funding through Michigan Works! during the application period in September and October.

“The state received more than 1,200 applications this year and as a result the scoring process was extremely competitive.” said Michigan Works Executive Director Paul Griffith. “We submitted a total of 32 applications, to train or upgrade the skills of nearly 650 employees, including 15 apprenticeships in all six of our counties, and over 50% of those funding requests were approved. It shows how popular this fund has become.”

Some funding was set aside for a special application called an Industry Lead Collaborative (ILC), that does not have a deadline, and companies can apply for it year round.  Companies are urged to collaborate and file and ILC application. If you are an employer in Lake, Mason or Oceana counties interested in doing so please contact Business Services Director Merri Bennett at Employers in Mecosta, Newaygo or Osceola counties should contact Business Services Specialist Jonathan Eppley at

Companies that weren’t initially approved have been placed on a waiting list and may be awarded funds as monies become available. This is the sixth year of the program, which is administered by the state Talent Investment Agency.