Thirteen Oakland County companies received almost $700,000 from the state’s Skilled Trades Training Fund, enabling them to hire nearly 1,300 new employees while upgrading the skills of more than 700 current employees.
The funds will be used to train current employees in occupations such as software programming support, electrical vehicle development, 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 13 companies and also a nod to the state for creating the Skilled Trades Training Fund.”
The companies in turn agreed to contribute nearly $3 million in matching job training funds to help prepare their workforces. Coupled with funds received in 2013 from the state fund, Oakland County employers – through Oakland County Michigan Works! – received more than $1.1 million to retrain its existing workforce and hire new employees.
“The program provides a fantastic opportunity to help our employees advance and add to our growth,” said Juli Elkins of GableTEK, a Troy-based engineering and robotics firm that received about $23,000 in training funds.
Magna International, a Canada-based tier one auto supplier whose American headquarters is in Troy, was the largest benefactor of the training funds, receiving more than $293,000. German tier one supplier Brose, located in Auburn Hills, was next in line at more than $112,000 in training funds.
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: ALTe Technologies, Beaumont Health System, Becker Orthopedic, Creative Breakthroughs, Eaton Steel, FANUC America Corp., Henniges Automotive, Paramount Precision Products, Progressive Metal Manufacturing and Total Door.