$30M in training dollars available to Northeast Michigan businesses
The 2017 Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF), now in its third year, will offer $30 million to be distributed statewide towards workforce training. The fund assists companies to meet their talent challenges by offering competitive awards for employer-driven training to enhance talent, employment retention, and productivity. The STTF offers the tools to help close the skills gap, providing training in high-demand occupations to address the talent shortages hindering Michigan’s growth.
In 2016, 20 northeast Michigan companies were awarded STTF grants totaling over $317,338, which helped train over 250 workers.
Despite the name, the “Skilled Trades” Training Fund supports training for in-demand occupations that pay competitive wages in a variety of fields, including agriculture, energy, hospitality, healthcare, IT, manufacturing and more. Training, whether classroom or on-site, is usually short-term in duration and businesses receiving funds must commit to hire or retain individuals at the completion of their training.
Key partners in the Skilled Trades Training Fund program are Michigan Works!, the Michigan Economic Development Corp, the Michigan Workforce Development Agency, area community colleges, and local economic development organizations.
The STTF has made the difference between job expansion and layoffs, protecting families and keeping communities strong. Many industries in Michigan have an excess of open jobs, but a workforce lacking the skills to fill those jobs. Funds awarded help to upskill workers so that they can perform the jobs that are currently in-demand. The STTF works with job providers to determine which skills are essential for growing staff capacity and business models, and affords them the training dollars to grow those skillsets within their organizations.
Demand for these training funds is strong and employers are encouraged to apply early, as funds will run out quickly. Applications will be available beginning September 12th, 2016, but businesses are warned that funding is limited and awards are competitive. For more information on how to apply, northeast Michigan businesses should contact their local Michigan Works! at 800-371-2533.