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Going PRO Talent Fund

$28.7 million approved for Going PRO Talent FUND 

The Going PRO Talent Fund has long been an invaluable funding source for Michigan businesses looking to upskill their existing employees or train new hires. However, due to budget cuts in 2019, no funding was allocated for the program in the 2020 (FY) budget.  

Looking toward revitalizing the successful program, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer worked with the Michigan Legislature to approve the 2021 (FY) budget, which includes $28.7 million earmarked specifically for the Going PRO Talent Fund.

Through the Talent Fund, employers can apply for up to $1,500 per employee in training funding assistance. Businesses in Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana and Osceola counties are encouraged to contact Michigan Works! West Central to apply for funding. All applications in the competitive-grant program must be submitted to the state through Michigan Works!

The Talent Fund provides competitive awards to employers to assist in training, developing and retraining current and new employees. It helps to ensure Michigan’s employers have the talent they need to compete and grow in the global economy, and ensures that individuals have the necessary skills they need for the wide variety of in-demand jobs in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) grants the funds to employers through Michigan Works! Agencies. Locally, Michigan Works! West Central’s Business Services team is ready to work with employers to assess their talent skill gaps, identify training needs and assist in finding suitable training providers. During the upcoming application period, which opens Monday, Nov. 2, Michigan Works! West Central’s Business Services staff will work with employers to submit applications to LEO for approval.

Training plans approved through the Talent Fund must be short-term and fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer. Training must lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and industry recognized.

If your business is interested in applying this year, click here!

Here are a few examples of skilled trades training utilized by our local companies and funded by the program: 

Since the program began, 50 percent of the awards have gone to companies with less than 100 employees and approximately 38 percent to companies with 500 or less. And since its inception in 2014, Michigan Works! West Central has helped secure more than $2 million for 50 different companies in our six-county service area! That equates to the training of more than 2,000 workers, including funding for 57 USDOL registered apprenticeships! 

For a list of companies and trainings that have been approved click here.

To take adantage of this grant and to apply, please contact our Business Services team by clicking here!