Thirty-six Oakland County companies in 13 communities received more than $1 million from the state’s Skilled Trades Training Fund, enabling them to hire about 170 new employees while upgrading the skills of nearly 1,200 current employees.
Compared to last year, the number of companies awarded funding more than tripled and the amount of support received increased by more than 40 percent in Oakland County. Workers will be trained in occupations such as software programming, computer-aided design, welding, and robot operations.
“This is one state economic development program that works and creates some huge return on our investment,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Congratulations to our 36 companies and the state for helping our workforce get the skills they need to succeed.”
The companies in turn agreed to contribute more than $4 million in matching job training funds to help prepare their workforces. Coupled with funds received beginning in 2013 from the state, Oakland County employers – through Oakland County Michigan Works! – have received more than $2 million to retrain its existing workforce and hire new employees.
The Auburn Hills location of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the world’s seventh largest auto maker, was the largest benefactor of the training funds, receiving almost $350,000. Marada Industries of South Lyon, a subsidiary of Canadian-based auto supplier Magna International, was next in line at $63,500.
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 John Almstadt, manager of Workforce Development for the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.
Other companies receiving training funds are: AirBoss, Android Industries, Beaumont Health System, Borg Warner, Fanuc Robotics, Nuspire, Orchid Orthopedic Solutions, Silent Call Communications, Softura, The Productivity Team, and Trijicon.
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.