Training grants support northern Michigan business growth

Skilled Trades Training Fund helping Michigan employers close the qualified workers employment gap.

The State of Michigan for the third year has supported a fund called Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF). This fund was established to ensure Michigan’s employers have access to the talent they need to compete and grow, and individuals have the skills they need for in-demand jobs. The STTF grant is a statewide competitive grant program. Training awards went to businesses is several industries, with an emphasis on manufacturing related training. 

Michigan State University Extension partner Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) has been successful in applying for these grants due to a collaborative and coordinated approach by Michigan Works!, and the local colleges: North Central Michigan College and Baker College. Businesses were identified and prepared for the application process in advance so they could submit their application immediately at the beginning of the grant period on October 1. 

Nine companies in the NLEA four County region (Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties) have been awarded $226,884 from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) through the Skilled Trades Training Grant program (STTF). This will provide training for 187 current employees and 82 new employees. This training will be completed in the next six months. Nine additional businesses are on the waitlist, requesting to receive another $200,000. 

Successful applicants included businesses in all four of our counties and included: Lexamar-Charlevoix County, Shanty Creek Resorts-Antrim County, Daifuku-Jervis Webb-Emmet County and Ryba Marine-Cheboygan County. Grant funds will be used to train employees in CNC machining, welding, LEAN manufacturing, computer skills, quality certification and other skills necessary for employees to be successful with these businesses.

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