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LEO | Workers at Clarkston’s AtomTech Receive Higher Wages, Advanced Training

Michigan Business Network
September 19, 2023 1:00 PM

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due to Going PRO Talent Fund training awards

LANSING, Mich. — As a result of the Going PRO Talent Fund, 30 employees of Clarkston-based AtomTech have received the training needed to secure brighter economic futures for themselves and their families – as evidenced by a 35-50% hourly wage increases for those workers – while helping position the company for marketplace success.

The Going PRO Talent Fund, administered by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), ensures employers have the talent they need to grow and stay competitive by providing awards to assist in training, developing, and retaining current and newly hired employees.

“The Going PRO Talent Fund has put tens of thousands of Michiganders on paths to good-paying, high-skill jobs and helped thousands of Michigan businesses develop the talent they need to expand and compete in the global economy,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "AtomTech is a textbook example of how Going PRO can make a real difference, as 30 of their employees have gotten advanced training, bringing home up to 50% more per hour and helping the company grow right here in Michigan. Let’s keep working together to help more people and businesses ‘make it’ in Michigan and build a brighter future.”

The $49,500 Going PRO Talent Fund grant awarded to AtomTech, which provides diverse hardware and software designs for various sectors including electric vehicle manufacturing and battery assembly, supported industry-specific training that has enabled 30 workers to effectively utilize new tools, software, and/or proprietary-platforms. Since 2022, AtomTech employees have earned 45 certificates thanks to support from the Talent Fund.

Since the program's launch in 2014, more than 6,000 Michigan businesses have received Going PRO Talent Fund awards to train 175,000 new and existing workers. More than 60% of the employers receiving funds are small businesses (fewer than 100 employees). During fiscal year 2023, 81 Oakland County employers received approximately $3.7M in Going PRO Talent Fund awards to support 1,482 workers.

“In this highly competitive economy where companies are scrambling for the talented workers of the future, programs like the Going PRO Talent Fund are giving companies the advantage they need to locate, succeed, and grow in Michigan,” said Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. “The Going PRO Talent Fund has been an indispensable tool for employers in Oakland County and a benefit that has allowed workers to gain the credentials and skills they need for rewarding careers.”

AtomTech relies on significant industry experience and a heavy dose of continuous training to keep the company at the forefront of its industry. That’s where the Going PRO Talent Fund – which supports training that leads to a transferable, industry-recognized credential – comes in.

''The Going Pro Talent Fund has been instrumental in advancing AtomTech's employee development efforts, allowing us to expand the range of certifications available to our staff,” said Kevin Hill, AtomTech’s Field Service Manager. “These qualifications not only bolster our team's capabilities, but they also enhance each employee's career prospects in a tough employment market. The program places our employees on a more promising path for internal promotions, cultivating an environment that values ongoing education and career development.”

AtomTech employees who successfully completed Talent Fund-supported training through Oakland Community College and MTECH at Macomb Community College have earned wage increases and title bumps, along with opportunities to work on more advanced, rewarding projects. AtomTech reports completers saw a 35-50% increase in hourly wages after earning the certifications that enable them to work independently and be placed on more advanced projects.

“The training costs covered by Going PRO Talent Fund allow Michigan businesses to upskill their workforce and stay competitive in today’s global economy,” said LEO Director Susan Corbin. “These trainings also give our state’s dedicated workforce the skills they need for bigger paychecks and a better future for themselves and their families.”

“In addition to supporting Michigan businesses of all sizes, the Going PRO Talent Fund allows us to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, ensuring all Michiganders – especially those who were traditionally left behind – have a chance to gain the skills needed to fill these high-pay, in-demand positions,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training. “The Talent Fund also contributes to Governor Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 educational attainment goal by ensuring workers gain postsecondary credentials.”

The Governor’s Sixty by 30 program aims to help 60% of working-age Michiganders achieve a certificate or postsecondary degree by 2030. Find out more at Sixtyby30.org.

“Going PRO Talent Fund checks all the boxes,” said Oakland County Michigan Works! Director Jennifer Llewellyn. “Employees earn new certifications and new skills and earn higher wages to support themselves and their families. Businesses leverage this program to train new hires and their existing workforce, leading to higher skill levels and increased employee retention. Going PRO Talent Fund is a perfect example of where economic development and workforce development investment come together to benefit Michigan workers, their families, and companies.”

The application period for the next cycle of Going PRO Talent Fund grants is expected to open later this year. Businesses interested in learning more or applying for funding should contact their local Michigan Works! Service Center by calling 1-800-285-WORKS (9675) or visit MichiganWorks.org.

To learn more about the Going PRO Talent Fund, visit Michigan.gov/TalentFund.


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Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.