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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Major ARRA State Workforce Funding

Adult Learning Begins to Transform

Green Jobs Conference Announces Speakers, Breakout Sessions

Tracey Anderson's Transition to a Better Future

NWLB Helps Mulch Manufacturing Expand in Michigan

NWLB in the News


















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No Worker Left Behind News

March 19, 2009

No Worker Left Behind to Get a Big Boost
U.S. Department of Labor Announces Major American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Workforce Funding for Michigan

Michigan workers and companies are about to receive a substantial helping hand from President Barack Obama’s administration. The president’s team announced that $197 million in new worker training funds are coming to Michigan as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That means we can expand No Worker Left Behind to train significantly more Michigan workers for in-demand Michigan jobs.

On March 6, 2009, Deputy Assistant Secretary Douglas Small of the U.S. Department of Labor sent a letter notifying each state of its allotment of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding and Wagner-Peyser Act funding. Image
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The total allocation of WIA funding for Michigan is $183,259,217.

That total allocation of funding comes from three different streams:

  • $78,452,046.00, WIA Dislocated Worker
  • $73,949,491.00, WIA Youth
  • $30,857,680.00, WIA Adult

Wagner-Peyser Act funding will give Michigan an additional $13,858,019.

“The significant investment of stimulus funds presents an extraordinary and unique opportunity for the workforce system to advance transformational efforts and demonstrate its full capacity to innovate and implement effective One-Stop service delivery strategies,” wrote Small in the letter. “The intent of the Recovery Act is that funds be spent quickly and effectively in meeting the employment and training needs of the Nation’s workforce.”

The Obama administration understands Michigan’s plight. Michigan’s allocation is the third largest amount of any state of WIA Youth and WIA Dislocated Worker dollars and fourth largest for WIA Adult dollars.

WIA is the largest source of funding for NWLB. Both the additional WIA and Wagner-Peyser dollars will be used for bolstering NWLB and creating the Michigan Energy Corps.

Adult Learning Begins to Transform
Today one in every three Michigan workers – 1.7 million people – face basic learning challenges and are not prepared to train for, or obtain good jobs in the 21st century economy. Of these adults, 692,000 possess neither a GED nor a high-school diploma. Without a basic education, these people are being shut out of work opportunities in Michigan’s transitioning economy. Adult Learning Image

To combat this daunting challenge, DELEG, in partnership with stakeholders across Michigan, formulated an adult learning workgroup and made specific recommendations that seek to decrease by half, the number of adults with basic skills deficiencies.

In December 2008, the Council for Labor and Economic Growth unanimously adopted recommendations for this transformation effort from the adult learning workgroup and its low-wage worker advancement committee. The group’s recommendations include:

  • Transform Michigan’s adult learning infrastructure to create a unified strategic approach to increase basic skills and post-secondary credential attainment.
  • Engage a range of partners in service delivery through regional partnerships to meet the diverse needs of adult learners.
  • Build clear connections between learning and the promise of good jobs.
  • Use accelerated and connected pathways to help adult learners reach their goals.
  • Increase access to adult learning.
  • Make basic skills development a priority with every funding source that can legally support it.
  • Hold regional partnerships accountable for success and measure outcomes at the partnership level using a new performance management framework.
  • Engage a broad coalition in communicating the urgent need to improve basic skills.

DELEG is already facilitating this transformation by allocating $2.5 million from NWLB for adult learning demonstration grants that will fund 10 regional partnerships across the state. In February, adults began to have access to these new projects, spearheading the transformational efforts.

These programs will equip adult learners with the skills necessary to enter career pathways in healthcare, renewable energy and other sectors, and postsecondary education or training programs through NWLB.

Allocation of Adult Learning Grants

$250,000 St. Clair County: AWARE: Adults Who are Returning to Education Programs
$150,000 Genesee, Shiawassee Counties: County and Career Pathway Academy
$300,000 Kent, Allegan Counties: Making College Accessible Program
$300,000 Monroe County Learning Bank Network
$150,000 Grand Traverse County: Northwest Michigan Adult Learning Partnership
$300,000 Oakland County: Oakland Adult Learning Collaborative
$300,000 Central Upper Peninsula: Project E3: Excellence in Education and Employability
$250,000 Berrien, Cass, Van Buren Counties: Southwest Michigan Regional Adult Learning Network
$250,000 Calhoun County: Southwest Michigan Workforce Education Center Partnership
$250,000 Washtenaw County: Washtenaw Region Adult Education Collaborative

These programs will benefit participants in many ways including: higher personal incomes, higher rates of citizenship and civic engagement, higher levels of educational achievement for future generations, higher levels of fiscal contribution, and higher rates of job creation and economic growth.

For more information about this important effort and the demonstration project regions please visit or contact us at

Green Jobs Conference Announces Speakers, Breakout Sessions

The State of Michigan’s first official green jobs conference, “Green Today, Jobs Tomorrow” will take place on May 11, 2009, in Lansing. The conference made several major announcements in February, including key speakers and breakout sessions that will be featured at the conference.

The conference keynote speaker is Van Jones, President Obama’s recently announced green jobs advisor. Van is also the founder and president of Green for All and author of The Green Collar Economy. Other confirmed speakers include U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Kate Gordon, co-director of the national Apollo Alliance.

Breakout sessions planned for the day’s agenda include:

  • Building a Greener Tomorrow
  • Growing Energy
  • Green Training Through Partnerships
  • The Possibilities With Brownfield Redevelopment
  • Is Biomass the Future of Gas?
  • Green for Your Advantage
  • Agriculture Impact on Green
  • Generating Wind and Jobs
  • Green Construction
  • Southeast Michigan Leading the Way to New Green Economy

Online credit card registration is now available as well. Please register today at Green Jobs Initiative !

Tracy Anderson’s Transition to a Better Future

After a career working for a local manufacturing company in the Upper Peninsula town of Gladstone, Tracy Anderson found herself out of work. The company she worked for relocated out of Michigan, leaving many people unemployed. After her dismissal Tracy searched for another career, however she was unable to find work. It was then that Tracy turned to Michigan Works! The Job Force Board for assistance.

Friendly staff there introduced Tracy to the No Worker Left Behind program. After learning more about the program and the career prospects it would provide, Tracy decided that she needed to take advantage of this opportunity. After a 20-year hiatus, Tracy chose to enroll in school.

“Although…it was difficult for me to envision returning to school, I saw the value in the assistance I was receiving…so I put in the time and effort necessary to reach my ultimate goal,” commented Tracy.

With the help of NWLB, Tracy participated in the electrical technician program at Northern Michigan University and graduated in June 2008.

The time and hard work Tracy put into her new education soon paid off as she became an electrical technician at Pisces VMK, Inc.

“Tracy was exactly what we were looking for with the qualifications we needed,” said Matt Wastell, vice president at Pisces VMK, Inc.

Pisces VMK, Inc., a manufacturer of fish processing equipment and a notable company in the Upper Peninsula, had been unable to find qualified employees with an electrical technician education. Thanks to the No Worker Left Behind program, Tracy’s new education qualified her for a new, fulfilling career in an area she desired.

NWLB Helps Mulch Manufacturing Expand in Michigan

Do you ever wonder how NWLB works for companies, not just workers? Funding for on-the-job training is one of the key ways NWLB can help employers succeed in the current economic environment.

Mulch Manufacturing experienced the value of NWLB firsthand when it targeted Michigan for expansion. The company decided to expand to West Branch and purchased a new facility there in 2007.

With the help of Michigan Works Service Center in Ogemaw, Mulch Manufacturing was offered assistance by the No Worker Left Behind program. Mulch Manufacturing used the Michigan Talent Bank as its main source to find qualified workers and received more than 600 applications and résumés. Mulch Manufacturing took advantage of the NWLB’s ability to provide on-the-job training opportunities, so the company could hire new staff and help them learn and earn all at once.

The combination of the Michigan Talent Bank and the No Worker Left Behind program allowed Mulch Manufacturing to utilize all available resources to find, train and offer new jobs to Michigan citizens. Mulch Manufacturing was able to fill 12 employment opportunities with well-trained and highly qualified individuals. Michigan Talent Bank Image
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NWLB in the News

Education is a key for a better, more stable job
Editorial/The Bay City Times

One word should echo in the mind of every laid-off worker, as national and Michigan unemployment soars to heights not seen since the early 1980s:


It's the key to a job, a better life in the years ahead and a powerful hedge against losing that work. Read more>

Energy-saving efforts should generate jobs; Utilities to spend millions on projects
Amy Lane/Crain’s Detroit Business

“We're going to work with utilities, unions that are in this sector, with the community colleges, proprietary schools, government agencies ... work with all partners to train as many workers as we can,” said Andy Levin, DELEG deputy director.

The funds will flow through the state's No Worker Left Behind program, which trains displaced workers for in-demand jobs. Read more>

Lights, Cameras, Jobs
Chris Sutter, WILX

Over the course of the past year, there's no doubt that the movie industry has become very familiar with the state of Michigan.

"We've had over 71 projects filmed in Michigan. Over 30 films have been completed," Andy Levin of the Michigan Department of Economic Growth says.

And with even more movies expected in the state, Capital Area Michigan Works, Michigan State University and Lansing Community College want to train folks in town so they're ready for jobs in the film industry. Read more>

State puts out casting call for people to learn film jobs
Barbara Wieland/The Lansing State Journal

Sixty people in mid-Michigan will get a start on a career in film production thanks to a grant from the state of Michigan.

The No Worker Left Behind program, a part of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth, will release $195,000 to pay for the training of the workers.

Those selected into the program will receive training through a partnership between Lansing Community College, Michigan State University and Capital Area Michigan Works.

"This is what No Worker Left Behind is about," said Andy Levin, deputy director of DLEG at a Monday news conference about the partnership. "We're not just sending people to school, we're sending them back to school for in-demand jobs in our state." Read more>

Straits students looking for more schooling
Mike Fornes/Cheboygan Daily Tribune

“With the governor’s push for No Worker Left Behind, funding for those wanting to receive education has risen,” Andrews explained. “Our MichiganWorks! office in Cheboygan has done an excellent job of educating the community as to what funds are available, I know it has been a big part of the increase in Cheboygan. It’s fortunate for us, and at least people are getting an education they might not otherwise get so that benefits our entire community." Read more>

New school to meet needs of film industry
Sandra Armbruster/Royal Oak Mirror

School bells won't be ringing when the Center for Film Studies opens its doors for the first time March 2, but staff and students at the new school are just as excited as at any elementary school.

The CFS, however, is for grown-ups and is an effort to meet the needs of Michigan's new film industry, according to Mort Meisner, the executive director and president of CFS…
The CFS also has received approval from Michigan Works, part of the No Worker Left Behind initiative. Displaced workers will be eligible for up to $5,000 for tuition. Read more>

A Hollywood Sequel for Michigan Workers
Marci Alboher /The New York Times

AS the job market tightens, many people would welcome the chance to receive training for work in a new field — if only they could figure out which industries were hiring, and how to find and pay for that training.

A new program in Michigan, which has suffered staggering job losses related to the auto industry, seeks to solve this conundrum. The program is training people to work in the film industry, which is experiencing a huge growth spurt in response to the state’s incentives to companies making films in Michigan. An example is Clint Eastwood’s latest, “Gran Torino,” filmed in the state. Last week, the governor’s office announced that its efforts to attract film production companies to the state would yield nearly 6,000 new jobs. Read more>

Mid-Michigan college offers new career training
Jenny Suniga/NBC 25

It's no secret Michigan has the highest unemployment in the country. At last check it was up more than 10%.

There is some hope with one Mid-Michigan college helping to train people for a new career in just six weeks. The program is so successful, Governor Jennifer Granholm highlighted it in her State of the State Address Tuesday night. Read more>

Unemployed seeking education
White Lake Beacon

With unemployment levels hitting 11.5 percent in Muskegon County, local agencies that assist the unemployed are seeing a rise in demand for their services.

“Absolutely we have seen an increase in the use of our services,” said Valarie Thompson, coordinator of the Workforce Development program at White Lake Area Community Education (WLACE)…
One of the most-used programs is for those without degrees. And it may be the one bright side of the economic downturn. People are coming to the WLACE to further their education.

“The one program that has been very, very busy is No Worker Left Behind,” said Thompson.
While not the only program for out-of-work individuals - the organization also helps with resumes, preparing for interviews, skills testing, on-the-job training and other services -Thompson said No Worker Left Behind is one of the most used.

“This helps people get the education they need to find a job,” she said. Read more>



Best Regards,

Andy Levin, Deputy Director
Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth

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