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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Talent Investment Agency awards $1.5 million to four adult education programs

Grant funds will assist adults over age 23 with obtaining a high school diploma and placement in career training programs

Contact: Stepheni Schlinker

LANSING, November 19, 2018 —Wanda M. Stokes, director of the Michigan Talent Investment Agency (TIA), announced today that the agency awarded $1.5 million in state funding to support four programs across the state that assist adults over the age of 23 in obtaining a high school diploma and placement in career training programs.

The following providers are being awarded funding:

Provider Grant Amount
 Graduation Alliance  $772,267
 Sparta Adult Education  $418,955
 Cyber Education Center with The City School of Detroit / The International School  $242,620
 Education and Training Connection  $ 66,158


The grant funding is set up as a pay-for-performance model, where the providers will be paid up to the grant funding amount, depending upon the number of students served and the success rate.

“Earning a high school diploma, or an equivalent degree, along with technical skills related to an in-demand occupation, greatly increases the employability and earning potential of Michigan’s citizens,” Stephanie Beckhorn, director of the Talent Investment Agency’s Workforce Development Agency, said. “Providing more opportunities to gain in-demand skills through the state’s adult education programs is an important investment in Michigan residents and the future of our great state. It allows us to better prepare our residents for jobs and career advancements and affords new hope for economic independence, ultimately improving the quality of life for all Michigan families.”

Graduation Alliance provides multiple pathways to individuals seeking to earn a high school credential. From dropout recovery programs and alternative education academies they build with school district partners, to a fully-accredited online school, to the workforce diploma programs they have launched across the nation for adult learners, they are committed to helping students succeed. Graduation Alliance offers an online high school diploma and free workforce credentials and job placement in the fields of construction and health care.

Sparta Adult Education works with surrounding local school districts to provide services in dropout recovery through their high school completion programming. All of Sparta Adult Education’s partners work closely with their local high schools and alternative high schools to accommodate the transition of potential dropouts to adult education services. Collaboratively, they provide services at 65 locations, have flexible and virtual learning options to reduce transportation barriers, and provide both on-site and remote academic assistance to all students.

The Cyber Education Center partnered with The City School of Detroit/The International School is a diploma-granting institution that has prepared students for 50 years. Their program allows participants to engage in programming that results in post-secondary readiness, industry-recognized credentials and high-demand job placements.

The Education and Training Connection provides adult education and training services. ETC provides accredited diplomas to adult education participants through a partnership with Bullock Creek Public Schools. In addition to providing adult education programs at its own sites in the mid-Michigan area, ETC provides adult education services for two Michigan Works! agencies, works with three alternative education programs, and has a Proprietary Schools license offering industry-recognized credentials in various high-demand employment areas.

About the Talent Investment Agency (TIA)
TIA is the agency that combines Michigan Unemployment Insurance and Workforce Development and is responsible for their activities. Businesses need a talented workforce. Workers need the right skills to compete for available jobs. TIA programs are focused on job preparedness, career-based education, worker training, employment assistance and unemployment insurance.