Fifty Oakland County companies in 19 communities received more than $1.2 million from the state’s Skilled Trades Training Fund, enabling them to hire about 327 new employees while upgrading the skills of more than 1,400 current employees.
Oakland County employers – through Oakland County Michigan Works! – have received more than $3.5 million from the state since 2013 to retrain or hire 4,181 employees. Workers will be trained in occupations such as software programming, computer-aided design, welding, and robot operations. The funds also support 23 new apprenticeships.
“This state economic development program elevates the skills of our workforce and strengthens our businesses, creating a significant return on our investment,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Programs such as this keep us competitive in a quickly changing economy.”
Area companies receiving grants include auto suppliers BorgWarner ($123,889), Richard Tool & Die ($12,600) and Karma Automotive ($65,210); Lee Industrial Contracting of Pontiac ($32,223) and Drought, a Royal Oak company that makes organic raw juices ($1,417).
Employers must apply for the state funds through their local Michigan Works! office. The grants are monitored and the companies must report on how the funds were used and that employees designated for job training actually receive it, said Jennifer Llewellyn, manager of Workforce Development for the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.
Oakland County Michigan Works! provides talent attraction, management and retention services for businesses, and career management, training and placement for job seekers at eight locations in Oakland County. Contact OaklandCountyMIWorks.com or 800-285-9675 for more information.