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LEO | Michigan Employers, Local Partners Spotlight Gov. Whitmer’s Budget Recommendations and Benefits for Going PRO Talent Fund

Michigan Business Network
April 26, 2024 9:00 AM

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Applications for cycle 2 of Going PRO Talent Fund open on April 22

LANSING, Mich. —The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) today announced applications have opened for cycle 2 of the Going PRO Talent Fund. Michigan businesses can apply to receive a share of at least $11 million in funding to help them train, develop and retain current and newly hired employees.

In her 2025 budget recommendations, Governor Whitmer asked the legislature to pass $20 million for the fund to expand the program to ensure employers have the in-demand, high-skill talent they need to grow while giving local workers a clear path to good-paying jobs that offer a better quality of life for their families.

“These businesses are part of what makes Michigan thrive and flourish,” said Susan Corbin, director of LEO. “For workers to be successful in an ever-changing economy, they must be provided with the right skills for the job. If businesses have more skilled workers, then they are bound to stay open. This initiative shows we are committed to improving both our state’s economic outcomes and quality of life.”

Eligible training programs supported by the Going PRO Talent Fund include classroom training, on-the-job training for new employees and apprenticeships. Since the program’s launch, the Going PRO Talent Fund has provided training for approximately 175,000 Michigan workers and supported the needs of more than 7,100 businesses.

"Our state's economic vitality relies on a workforce equipped with the right skills,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training. “LEO is working to provide connections, expertise and innovative solutions to drive continued business growth. We are committed to bridging the gap between employer needs and workforce capabilities, fostering growth and prosperity for all.”

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 and working with their local MWAs and other partners to develop an appropriate training plan. Training must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer and lead to a transferable, industry-recognized credential.

"The Going PRO Talent Fund is a critical and important program that provides employers with the opportunity to train both new and existing members of their company,” said Carrie Rosingana, Capital Area Michigan Works! Chief Executive Officer. “The investments in the people that work within these organizations support continued growth in the industries they represent and help ensure that Michiganders remain up-to-date on necessary skills to be competitive in today's workforce."

RoMan Manufacturing, a Grand Rapids business and past Going PRO Talent Fund grantee, expressed how the program made a significant impact on its employees. The funding allowed its staff to internalize functions previously outsourced, leading to an increase in job responsibilities and higher wages. The skills attained and credentials employees earned because of the Going PRO Talent Fund are recognized across the industry and are also transferable, ensuring the company’s workforce remains adaptable in a rapidly evolving market.

"The training at RoMan University was transformative, not just for my career but for my perspective on manufacturing's potential impact on the world,” said David Pridmore, Training and Development Specialist at RoMan Manufacturing. “It's more than mastering technical skills; it's about being part of a bigger mission to innovate for a sustainable future. I feel empowered and valued, knowing that my work contributes to critical industries and helps set global standards in energy efficiency and productivity." 

Applications close 5 p.m. Friday, May 10. Businesses interested in learning more or applying for funding should contact their local Michigan Works! Service Center. Contact information may be found at Michigan.gov/MichiganWorks.

The Going PRO Talent Fund is a program housed under LEO’s new All-Access Michigan approach. Using unique strategies and programs and innovative partnerships, LEO is addressing structural challenges that have historically prevented people and businesses from achieving their full potential.

To learn more about the Going PRO Talent Fund and its impact, visit www.michigan.gov/AllAccess.


LEO Mission and Vision. Visit Michigan.gov/LEO to learn more.

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