MI Going PRO Talent Fund Awards 3.4M To Oakland County Employers

Waterford, MI - A record 125 Oakland County employers will share $3.4 million in Going Pro Talent Fund grants awarded by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity this week.

The grants will allow the employers to hire and train 1,342 new employees, expand the skills of 1,281 existing workers and create 77 new registered apprenticeships during fiscal year 2022.

A total of $37.5 million in Going Pro Talent Fund grants were awarded across the state this year, benefiting 30,000 workers at more than 1,000 businesses.  Since the program’s inception in 2014, the Going PRO Talent Fund has benefited more than 5,300 businesses and 124,000 workers.

“The Going PRO Talent fund program has such great potential to help more than 2,700 workers in Oakland County gain valuable skills that will lead to good-paying jobs and satisfying careers,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “At the same time, the training funds will help local employers address the worker shortage problems they’re experiencing and allow them to recover more quickly from the COVID pandemic.”

Oakland County employers have received $10.9 million in Going Pro Talent Fund grants since the program’s launch, helping 476 county employers of all sizes.

“There was unprecedented interest in the Going PRO Talent Fund this year from employers across the county and the fact that we submitted 165 award applications speaks to their commitment to providing valuable training to their workforce,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, workforce development manager for Oakland County.  “Congratulations to everyone involved, including the employers and the teams from the Oakland County Michigan Works! offices, who worked together on preparing the record number of successful applications.”

Since its launch in 2014 through last year, the Going PRO Talent Fund has provided 3,212 awards to Michigan employers with less than 100 employees, representing 61 percent of all awards given.  A total of 1,607 awards have been given to employers with 100-499 employees (30 percent) and 481 awards have gone to employers with more than 500 employees (nine percent).

Ruby + Associates, a structural engineering firm located in Bingham Farms, received a Going PRO Talent Fund grant this year to train 30 employees.  President and CEO Tricia Ruby said the funding will be used for a variety of critical training programs, including new employee support, evolving engineering software, project management and leadership skills.

“We are so grateful to have received the Going PRO Talent Fund grant,” Ruby said.  “It will allow our growing firm to remain industry leaders and stay true to our guiding principle of continual technical excellence by offering these professional development opportunities to our engineers.”

Oakland County Michigan Works! operates service centers in Novi, Oak Park, Pontiac, Southfield, Troy, and Waterford, where they assist more than 105,000 job seekers annually. Services include career coaching, interviewing and job search workshops, placement assistance, training courses and job trend information.

The service centers also assist more than 3,000 employers seeking help with talent recruitment, apprenticeship programs, job fairs, candidate pre-screening, hiring, and training support, layoff support and labor market data.

Service center staff are available in-person or by virtual appointment to work one-on-one with job seekers to build their resumes, prepare for job interviews and help address other needs. To schedule a meeting, call 1-248-858-5520 and select the office nearest to you. The service centers are hosting several virtual workshops for job seekers. A schedule can be found at OaklandCountyMIWorks.com.

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