Copyright 2024 SPARK
  • Funds help Michigan employers prepare the talent they need to compete and grow; workers gain skills needed for in-demand career paths
  • Funds allocated by Michigan Works! Southeast, which includes Washtenaw and Livingston counties, exceeded $3M, distributed to more than 90 companies

Through $39,015,052 in grants from the Going PRO Talent Fund, Michigan is helping nearly 30,000 workers across the state to secure employment, industry-recognized credentials, and strong wages by providing training grants to more than 850 Michigan businesses to support their high-demand, high-skill talent needs.

“Now more than ever, we need to invest in our talent and businesses to ensure strong economic recovery and growth,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “Programs like the Going PRO Talent Fund allow us to put Michiganders on the path to good-paying jobs while helping Michigan employers develop the critical talent they need to compete in the global economy.”

Since the program’s launch in 2014, over 3,000 Michigan businesses have received Talent Fund awards to assist in training, developing, and retaining newly hired and current employees. Training must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer and lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and recognized by the industry.

The Going PRO Talent Fund has supported more than 94,000 workers with training over the years, including new hires and current workers.

“With 545,000 professional trades job openings expected through the year 2026, this fund plays a vital role in helping Michigan employers meet their talent needs by investing in homegrown workers,” Susan Corbin, acting director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) said.

LEO makes Going PRO Talent Fund awards to employers through Michigan Works! Agencies (MWAs). Participating employers play an integral role in defining their key training needs, then work with the local MWAs and other partners to develop appropriate, realistic training plans.

“Going PRO is a valuable resource because it reinvests in the people who make successful companies thrive. Ann Arbor SPARK values working with Michigan Works! Southeast in keeping these indispensable skills and knowledge here in Washtenaw and Livingston counties,” said Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO.

The Going PRO Talent Fund aligns with Governor Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60 percent by 2030.

To learn more about the Going PRO Talent Fund, visit

A list of grant recipients for the 2021 fiscal year is available online.