Waterford, MI - Seventy-four Oakland County businesses will share $1.77 million in Going PRO Talent Fund grants awarded this week by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.
Oakland County employers – with the support of Oakland County Michigan Works! – were awarded the funds to hire and train 313 new employees, expand the skills of 1,459 existing workers and create 12 new registered apprenticeships during the year.
“This funding is critical to companies rebounding from the pandemic and preparing their workforces for tomorrow,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said. “I’m pleased so many of our local businesses that applied for funding were awarded grants this year, providing a real boost as they move forward during the recovery.”
A total of $39 million in Going PRO Talent Fund grants were awarded across the state this year, benefiting 30,000 workers at more than 850 businesses. Since its inception in 2014, the program has benefited more than 3,000 businesses and 94,000 workers. The program was suspended in 2020 due to budget concerns.
Oakland County employers have received more than $7.5 million in grants since the program began.
“Despite the unique challenges facing area companies, we had strong interest in the program across the county and the state,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, workforce development manager for Oakland County. “I congratulate everyone involved for this was truly a team success. Local employers and teams from Oakland County Michigan Works! offices collaborated on preparing the successful application packages in a very short timeframe.”
According to the state, there will be 545,000 professional trades job openings through 2026.
“The demand for skilled workers to fill these positions will be huge over the next several years,” Llewellyn said. “The Going PRO Talent Fund grants play a key role in providing the training needed to fuel our talent pipeline and keep this sector of our economy strong.”
Area companies receiving grants include, among others: Applied Manufacturing Technologies, Barron Industries, Becker Orthopedic Appliances Co., Coventry Industries, Henry Ford Medical Group, Marada Industries, MPI, Orion Measurement Solutions, Parry Precision: Madison Heights, Spalding DeDecker Associates, Superior Materials, Titan Metallurgy, Ultra-Grip International, Welding Technology Corp. and Williams International. The full list of Oakland County companies receiving awards is attached.
Oakland County Michigan Works! operates service centers in Novi, Oak Park, Pontiac, Southfield, Troy and Waterford. Combined, 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.
Service centers also assist more than 3,000 employers seeking assistance with talent recruitment, apprenticeship programs, job fairs, candidate pre-screening, hiring and training support, layoff support and labor market data.
Service center staffs remain available 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 virtual meeting, call 1-248-858-5520 and select the office nearest to you. Service centers are hosting several virtual workshops for job seekers. A schedule can be found at www.OaklandCountyMIWorks.com.