West Michigan employers win $9.5M in training grants


Skilled and knowledgeable workers are in demand across many West Michigan industries. Courtesy Thinkstock

Michigan’s Talent Investment Agency has awarded $9.5 million in training funds to more than 200 West Michigan employers.

TIA announced the recipients of its Going PRO Talent Fund (formerly the Skilled Trade Training Fund) awards for fiscal year 2019, and $9,558,593 will go to employers and industry-led collaboratives in the West Michigan region, which covers Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon and Ottawa counties.

Since 2013, the training fund has injected millions of dollars into the Michigan economy for short-term training in high-demand occupations.

West Michigan Works!, a regional workforce development agency, will notify 223 West Michigan employers this week that their applications are being funded in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $289,345.

“The challenge facing West Michigan employers continues to be a shortage of workers that have the skills and qualifications needed to fill current and future high-demand positions,” said Amy Lebednick, director of business solutions, West Michigan Works!.

“These funds provide critical support to our region’s employers, allowing them to remain competitive in their industry and in this economy.”

Jacob Maas, CEO of West Michigan Works!, said the talent shortage has to be addressed by all employers.

“We are grateful to our partners at the chambers of commerce, economic development agencies, employer associations and community colleges for getting the word out and to our staff and employers for their work to submit the most competitive applications,” Maas said.

“The results are exactly what we expected: millions of dollars for training that will truly impact our communities.”

Statewide, the fund is awarding $29 million to 780 employers.

West Michigan grant recipients by county


Coastal Automotive, Holland: $5,644

Eclipse Tool & Die, Wayland: $19,500

Ely Manor, Allegan: $21,570

Holland Inc., Wayland: $45,000

K&R Truck Sales, Holland: $33,000

Koops, Holland: $48,280

Material Transfer, Allegan: $9,000

Perrigo, Allegan: $251,391

Ropes Courses, Allegan: $44,670

Stampede Die & Engineering, Wayland: $66,510

Windemuller, Wayland: $128,400

Brenner Excavating, Hopkins: $34,500

Total: $707,465


Flexfab, Hastings: $41,651

Ketchum Machine Company, Fremont: $9,000

BCN Technical Services, Hastings: $61,064

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Hastings: $10,500

TNR Machine, Dowling: $17,765

Middleville Tool & Die: $79,234

Total: $219,214


CarbonGreen Bioenergy, Lake Odessa: $23,231

Herbrucks Poultry Ranch, Saranac: $214,800

Metron of Belding: $21,000

THK Rhythm Automotive, Portland: $74,688

Lake Design & Manufacturing, Belding: $16,280

West Michigan Fabrication Corp., Belding: $9,000

Total: $358,999


Hearthside Food Solutions, Grand Rapids: $26,000

Tech Defenders, Grand Rapids: $66,200

Hearthside Food Services, Kentwood: $43,800

Rest Haven Homes, Grand Rapids: $11,200

Michigan Turkey Producers, Grand Rapids: $113,699

Plasan Carbon Composites, Walker: $37,098

VerPlank Electric, Grand Rapids: $3,000

Comfort Research, Grand Rapids: $77,250

Rapid-Line, Wyoming: $45,240

Nucraft Furniture Company, Comstock Park: $44,900

Die Cad Group, Grand Rapids: $58,700

Lakeland Finishing, Grand Rapids: $46,695

Autocam Medical, Kentwood: $93,000

Monroe LLC, Grand Rapids: $45,885

Weiss Technik North America, Grand Rapids: $40,505

HighPoint Electric, Belmont: $13,500

Van Haren Electric, Byron Center: $22,500

Fidler Furniture Company, Wyoming: $5,500

Metron of Lamont: $6,000

HealthBridge, Wyoming: $15,000

Applied Textiles, Byron Center: $46,520

Dennen Steel Corporation, Grand Rapids: $20,915

Mark-Maker Company, Wyoming: $46,600

EDR Pro Installers, Grand Rapids: $22,705

Metron of Cedar Springs: $15,000

Micron Manufacturing Co., Grand Rapids: $25,600

West Michigan Tag & Label, Grand Rapids: $28,500

Eikenhout, Grand Rapids: $15,000

Allied Mechanical Services, Grand Rapids: $51,495

Member First Mortgage, Grand Rapids: $7,064

Global Integrated Flooring Solutions, Kentwood:              $2,100

Morrison Industrial Equipment, Grand Rapids: $36,000

Challenge Manufacturing, Walker: $121,500

Action Mold and Machining, Grand Rapids: $52,185

Autodie, Grand Rapids: $106,580

Beene Garter, Grand Rapids: $18,500

Byrne Tool + Design, Rockford: $9,895

Scarlett Inc., Grand Rapids: $7,300

Weather Shield Roofing Systems, Grand Rapids: $12,450

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Grand Rapids: $101,354

Robert Bosch Fuel Systems, Kentwood: $12,000

Open Systems Technologies, Grand Rapids: $47,640

Bravo LT, Grand Rapids: $35,140

Buist Electric, Byron Center: $139,500

Commercial Tool & Die, Comstock Park: $54,894

Concept Tooling Systems, Grand Rapids: $3,000

CQL, Grand Rapids: $33,949

DealerOn, Grand Rapids: $39,450

MudPenny, Grand Rapids: $10,500

Eagle Industrial Group, Comstock Park: $3,750

Element Four, Kentwood: $13,500

Elevator Up, Grand Rapids: $17,585

Digital Tool & Die, Grandville: $72,500

Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids: $18,000

Fusion IT, Grand Rapids: $8,577

Townsquare Media, Grand Rapids: $5,390

Health Net of West Michigan, Grand Rapids: $10,460

Hot Stamp Tooling Systems, Grand Rapids: $4,500

Hungerford Technologies, Grand Rapids: $10,500

ITPartners+, Grand Rapids: $6,000

Mirrors Alto: $65,750

Mercy Health Grand Rapids: $60,000

Atlas Roofing Corporation, Byron Center: $6,000

Mold Tooling Systems, Grand Rapids: $3,000

Velocity USA, Grand Rapids: $10,600

Stone Fox Staffing, Grand Rapids: $21,895

MEC, Byron Center: $59,746

Emerald Corporation, Grand Rapids: $27,280

Gordon Food Service, Wyoming: $211,305

Grand Rapids Controls, Rockford: $37,500

Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors, Grand Rapids: $17,500

Jireh Metal Products, Grandville: $42,900

CG Automation & Fixture, Comstock Park: $37,498

Die-Tech and Engineering, Grand Rapids: $36,000

Gluten Free Bar, Grand Rapids: $30,450

Swoboda, Kentwood: $47,078

Roskam Baking Company, Kentwood: $90,000

ArtiFlex Manufacturing, Grand Rapids: $88,870

Walker Tool & Die, Grand Rapids: $21,000

Vista IT Group, Grand Rapids: $10,000

Star Truck Rentals, Grand Rapids: $90,000

Real IT Solutions, Comstock Park: $4,500

Rapid Tooling Systems, Grand Rapids: $6,000

Pridgeon & Clay, Grand Rapids: $208,962

Plasan North America, Walker: $70,085

Advanced Tooling Systems, Comstock Park: $36,000

Progressive AE, Grand Rapids: $14,290

CG Plastics, Comstock Park: $8,500

Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids: $269,270

Cherry Health, Grand Rapids: $154,500

Feyen Zylstra, Grand Rapids: $213,420

Agape Plastics, Grand Rapids: $37,694

Specialty Tooling Systems, Grand Rapids: $6,000

Ultimate Gaging Systems, Grand Rapids: $23,630

Guo Ji Tooling Systems, Grand Rapids: $1,000

Firstronic, Grand Rapids: $160,500

Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy, Grand Rapids: $57,678

Total: $4,396,171


Federal Mogul, Greenville: $88,390

Greenville Tool & Die, Greenville: $36,000

K&W Tool & Machine, Greenville: $3,000

Metron of Greenville: $12,000

Milacron DME Greenville: $72,600

Steeplechase T&D, Lakeview: $19,860

Wright Plastics, Sheridan: $13,500

Aggressive Tooling, Greenville: $39,130

WM Compounding, Greenville: $93,075

Total: $377,555


ADAC, Muskegon: $49,518

Anderson Global, Muskegon Heights: $114,890

Camcar Plastics, Muskegon: $4,500

Dynamic Conveyor, Norton Shores: $15,240

Hilite International, Whitehall: $65,177

Howmet Arconic, Whitehall: $263,790

Johnson Technology/GE Aviation, Muskegon: $76,000

L-3, Muskegon: $87,465

Mercy Health Muskegon: $52,500

Metal Technologies, Ravenna: $48,667

Michigan Spring & Stamping, Muskegon: $95,030

Scherdel, Muskegon: $48,078

Seabrook Plastics, Muskegon: $13,890

Seminole Shores ALC, Norton Shores: $5,400

Titan Tool & Die, Norton Shores: $10,500

EPI Breads/Lavoi Corp, Muskegon: $44,520

Fomcore, Muskegon: $15,600

La Colombe, Muskegon: $34,248

Lakeside Spring, Spring Lake: $9,600

Rolar Products, Muskegon Heights: $17,936

Total: $1,072,549


Herman Miller, Zeeland: $289,345

Fogg Filler, Holland: $171,196

Shape Corp., Grand Haven: $133,095

Holland Hospital, Holland: $123,320

Innotec, Zeeland: $110,526

Meridian, Spring Lake: $103,963

Gentex, Zeeland: $90,169

Altron Automation, Hudsonville: $74,616

Royal Technologies, Hudsonville: $57,000

Mirrors Holland: $53,254

Perrigo Holland: $50,760

Automatic Spring Products, Grand Haven: $46,954

Extol, Zeeland: $46,128

ODL, Zeeland: $44,666

Star Crane & Hoist, Allendale: $44,050

MFP Automation Engineering, Hudsonville: $43,409

Worksighted, Holland: $42,964

Alliance Home Health Care Services, Holland: $37,500

Ventura Manufacturing, Zeeland: $36,630

ITW Drawform, Zeeland: $35,506

Inontime, Zeeland: $31,900

DHE Plumbing and Mechanical, Hudsonville: $30,000

Metal Flow Corporation, Holland: $29,890

Busche Aluminum Technologies, Fruitport: $27,690

Parkway Electric and Communications, Holland: $27,000

Advanced Interiors, Jenison: $22,500

NPR of America, Grand Haven: $21,798

Town & Country Group, Zeeland: $21,328

All State Crane and Rigging, Holland: $15,160

Benjamin’s Hope, Holland: $15,000

Westwind Construction, Grand Haven: $14,825

Disher, Zeeland: $12,000

Cooper Standard, Spring Lake: $11,800

Engine Power Components, Grand Haven: $11,400

Zagers Pool & Spa, Jamestown Township: $10,195

Ranger Die, Coopersville: $10,170

Next Level Manufacturing, Jenison: $9,460

Driesenga & Associates, Holland: $8,201

Parker Hannifin Corporation, Otsego: $7,500

Quality Car Wash, Holland: $7,500

Lakeshore Enviromental, Grand Haven: $6,930

Apex Controls, Hudsonville: $6,000

Perception Engineering, Allendale: $5,464

Appledorn Assisted Living Center South, Holland: $5,400

Appledorn Assisted Living Center North, Holland: $5,400

Sheldon Meadows Assisted Living Center, Hudsonville: $5,400

Railside Assisted Living Center, Grand Haven: $5,400

Grand Pines Assisted Living Center, Grand Haven: $5,400

Bekins, Coopersville: $4,000

CS Erickson, Grand Haven: $3,312

DeWys Engineering, Coopersville: $3,285

Holland Plastics Corporation, Grand Haven: $2,650

Davon Manufacturing Company, Zeeland: $1,500

Total: $2,040,509

Industry-led collaboratives

Town & Country/Mechatronics, Zeeland: $3,000

Windemuller/Mechatronics, Wayland: $3,000

Town & Country Group/BICSI, Zeeland: $4,500

Riveridge Land Company/Riveridge, Sparta: $6,000

Riverridge Cider Company/Riverridge, Sparta: $7,500

Windemuller/BICSI, Wayland: $7,500

Feyen Zylstra/Mechatronics, Grand Rapids: $9,631

Parkway Electric & Communications/BICSI, Holland: $12,000

Buist Electric/BICSI, Byron Center: $13,500

Buist Electric/Mechatronics, Byron Center: $15,000

Riveridge Packaging/Riveridge, Sparta: $16,500

Rasch Bros Apple Storage/Riveridge, Sparta: $16,500

Riveridge Produce Marketing/Riveridge, Sparta: $25,500

Total: $140,131

*Industry-led collaboratives bring together employers, education and training institutions, workforce development organizations and other partners, such as economic development organizations, community organizations and government, to formulate training and education solutions to fill identified talent gaps.


Feyen Zylstra, Traverse City: $58,500

Holland Inc., Jackson: $21,000

Parker Hannifin, Richland, $18,000

Metron of Big Rapids: $15,000

Milacron DME Madison Heights, Troy: $82,500

Mercy Health Ann Arbor-St. Joe, Ypsilanti: $6,000

Holland Inc., Romulus: $45,000

Total: $246,000

*Out of region but administered by West Michigan Works!

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