$2.5M in grants available to help businesses address talent shortage

Despite risks, auto workers step up to make medical gear
Posted at 12:59 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 12:59:05-04

LANSING, Mich. — $2.5 million in grants are now available from the state to support businesses’ solutions to talent shortages.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity announced the initiative in a news release Tuesday.

“These grants will expand opportunity for Michiganders statewide as we continue our economic jumpstart and help small businesses emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever,” Whitmer said. “Employer-led collaboratives help small businesses entice talented employees, create better training programs and offer critical wraparound services, including child care. By funding these programs, we can help businesses thrive and ensure workers get bigger paychecks and better benefits.”

Successful applicants need to be focused on the creation of opportunities in agriculture, construction, energy, health care, hospitality, information technology, manufacturing or mobility, in professional and skilled trades.

LEO expects to fund 10 to 15 awardees, with grants ranging from $150,000 to $250,000 each.

“These grants will ultimately support the growth of opportunities for Michiganders statewide,” LEO acting Director Susan Corbin said. “It offers a brighter, more secure future for workers who will receive training and support needed to succeed in the 21st century global economy.”

An employer-led collaborative is a group of businesses coming together to solve a common or shared workforce problem.

They bring together employers, education and training institutions, workforce development organizations and other applicable partners like economic development organizations and government to create solutions to fill talent gaps.

“Employer-led collaboratives are uniquely poised to address a wide variety of workforce issues, including talent recruitment, creating customized training programs and providing support services such as transportation and child care,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, LEO’s Office of Employment and Training director. “Through this approach, we support the growth of our state’s businesses while creating opportunities for credential attainment and bigger paychecks for Michigan workers.”

There are currently more than 60 formally identified employer-led collaboratives throughout Michigan.

LEO creates statewide policy and provides technical assistance to support employer-led collaborative activities.

Request for Proposal submissions are due by Sept. 21, with awards announced on Nov. 17.

More information, including registration for an informational webinar set to take place later this month, can be found here.