Oakland County Employers Encouraged To Apply For $27 Million In Training Grants As State’s Going PRO Talent Fund Reinstated

Oakland County employers who need talent can apply for a share of $27 million allocated statewide for approved training programs in 2021 under Michigan’s Going PRO Talent Fund.

The fund, which was reinstated by the state, provides grants for employers to hire and train workers to earn industry-recognized credentials in advanced manufacturing, software development, construction trades and robotic operations. It also allows current workers to expand their skills and creates registered apprenticeships for new employees. Since 2013, county employers have received more than $7.5 million of Going PRO Talent Fund grants.

“The Going PRO Talent Fund has provided millions of dollars in training funds to hundreds of eligible businesses across Oakland County who need to find and train talented workers,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said. “We applaud Governor Whitmer and state legislators for restoring the program. This funding comes at a critical time for our residents and businesses, given the impact COVID-19 continues to have in our business community and in our lives.”

The application period for grants begins November 2 and ends November 30 at 5 p.m.

Oakland County Michigan Works! is hosting five free virtual information sessions on the Going PRO Talent Fund. The online meetings provide important details about the program, eligibility criteria and the application process. Advance registration is required at www.OakGov.com/GoingPro. The sessions are:

  • Monday, October 19, from 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 20, from 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, October 22, from 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, October 27, from 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, October 29, from 2:30-4 p.m.

Minth North America received a Going PRO Talent Fund grant in 2019. Human Resources Director Christen Powers said it was invested in the development and professional growth of 33 team members.

“Ongoing development of employees is an essential part of any retention and growth strategy,” Powers said. “It allows employees to follow a professional development plan that prepares them for the next stage of their careers, whether it’s as a successor to someone, becoming a cross-functionally trained employee or a technical expert.”

Jennifer Llewellyn, director of Oakland County Michigan Works!, said staff at the county’s six service centers can confirm a company’s eligibility and assist it in completing an application. To qualify, the training must be short-term and lead to a credentialed, industry-recognized skill enhancement.

“Our team has been very successful in partnering with employers of all sizes to design training models customized to their changing needs,” Llewellyn said. “We strongly encourage an employer to contact their local Michigan Works! office soon to ensure the application is completed in time for review by the state.”

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.