Skill-building programs, such as the Advanced Manufacturing Institute at Muskegon Community College, are designed to develop the region’s workforce. Photo via muskegoncc.edu
A group of area companies, big and small, is sharing more than $1.5 million to “upskill” their workforces and new hires.
The Skilled Trades Training Fund grants from the state, announced last month, allow employers to develop and implement training programs to enhance their businesses.
The grant funds that will be used to upgrade the skills of existing employees require a commitment by the company to hire additional employees to fill current or future positions.
The program was designed to ensure Michigan’s employers have access to the talent pipeline they need to compete and grow and participants have the skills they need for in-demand jobs.
“As the economy recovers, businesses are expanding, and they need skilled workers,” said Deb Lyzenga, business services manager for Michigan Works! Kent & Allegan Counties. “These funds helped many West Michigan businesses meet growing demand by upskilling their existing workforce. It’s good for business. It’s good for West Michigan.”
Jan Opalewski, HR manager at Kalamazoo-based Fabri-Kal, a packaging company that received $21,000, said employers in the state “are struggling to find qualified technical manufacturing employees who have the skill sets to carry us forward.”
“The grant has given us an opportunity to both develop our current staff and hire and grow new employees with the technical ability — but not the training they need to be successful in an advanced manufacturing environment," Opalewski added.
More than $8.2 million in STTF grants were awarded throughout the state.
Michigan Works! Kent & Allegan Counties recipients
|Pridgeon & Clay||$153,000|
|Michigan Fluid Power||$49,110|
|Hadley Products Corporation||$16,500|
|Valley Truck Parts||$10,500|
|CTH Industrial Service||$9,000|
|The DECC Company||$6,375|
|Enterprise Tool & Die||$6,000|
|Digital Tool & Die||$6,000|
|Commercial Tool & Die||$3,000|
|General Die & Engineering||$3,000|
|Action Mold and Machining||$3,000|
Michigan Works! Kalamazoo & St. Joseph Counties recipients
|Vaupell Midwest Molding & Tooling||$30,014|
|Peterson Spring Corporation||$25,000|
|Split among seven employers be:||$17,350|
Parker Hannifin – Hydraulics Division
Schupan & Sons
Stryker Instruments and Medical
Sturgis Molded Products
Weber Specialties Company
|X-L Machine Company|