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Ann Arbor Spark

March 25, 2020

Michigan’s Going Pro Talent Fund

The Going PRO Talent Fund is a way for Michigan-based companies to reduce their expenses on training new and existing staff.

What is it (in two sentences or less)?

A cost-sharing training grant administered by Michigan Works! used to encourage companies to train existing and new staff. The State of Michigan will reimburse businesses for a portion of training completed by a third party.

How do companies qualify?

Businesses throughout Michigan can apply for the program. Application deadlines historically are in October, while support for completing the applications begins in August. In order to qualify for funding, the training must: 

  • Provide a “demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer.” In other words, show that the company has needs around a skill (e.g., training on a new process or machine) or type of employee (e.g., software developers).
  • Be “short-term” (training should be completed in six months).
  • Lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and recognized by the industry.
  • Not exceed $1,500 per person (or $3,000 per first-year U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship).
  • Meet one of the following criteria:
    • Classroom or customized training completed by a third party training provider
    • New employee on-the-job training
    • Training for new USDOL Registered Apprentices

Who decides?

The Workforce Development Agency at the State of Michigan is the decision-maker. Applications are developed and supported with the help of Michigan Works! The regional agency supporting Washtenaw and Livingston counties is Michigan Works! Southeast.

What is the process?

Businesses need to apply to the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), with coordination from Michigan Works! Southeast (MWSE). An outline of the general process includes:

  1. In August, MWSE will notify businesses of webinars and training events about the Going Pro Talent Fund, as a kick-off to apply for funding.
  2. MWSE staff conducts fact-finding sessions with employers to assess their talent skill gaps and suitable training providers.
  3. Companies and MWSE develop applications including, who needs to be trained, the training plan, expectations of length of training, and other information.
  4. Once applications are available for submission, they are forwarded to the WDA by MWSE.
  5. Decisions on funding are usually made before the end of the calendar year, with training starting at the beginning of the next calendar year.
  6. If an application is approved, MWSE is responsible for the management and oversight of the award to the company.
  7. Payments are made on a reimbursement basis after all required documentation is submitted to MWSE.

Local Companies that Received Going Pro Funds:

Where can I learn more?

Contact Phil Santer for more information on this tool.

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