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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Michigan Talent Investment Agency awards over $1.4 million to address critical workforce needs

Contact: Stepheni L. Willis
Cell:  517-243-7423

August 2, 2019

LANSING, Mich. – In an effort to bring together employers, educators, and workforce partners to create solutions to fill identified talent gaps in a variety of industries, the Talent Investment Agency’s Workforce Development Agency recently awarded approximately $1.4 million to 10 organizations.

Grant Awardee

Industry Grant Amount
 Oakland County Michign Works! Agency  Healthcare $63,000
 Lake Superior Community Partnership  Energy $82,000
 20Fathoms  IT $120,060
 Southeast Michigan Community Alliance Michigan Works!
 c/o Michigan Alliance for Greater Mobility Advancement (MAGMA)
 Auto Manufacturing $125,000
 Central Michigan Manufacturers Association  Manufacturing $140,000
 German American Chambers of the Midwest, Inc.
 (GACC Midwest)
 Manufacturing $148,605
 Area Community Service Employment and Training Council
 (dba West Michigan Works!)
 All $150,000
 Michigan Chamber Foundation c/o Michigan Energy Workforce 
   Development Consortium (MEWDC)
 Energy $199,078
 Berrien-Cass-Van Buren Workforce Development Board
 (dba Kinexus)
 Manufacturing $200,000
 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
 (Michigan Works! Southwest)
 Healthcare & Manufacturing $200,000
  Total Amount   $1,427,743


On April 1, 2019, the Workforce Development Agency released a Request for Proposals to develop and launch new employer-led collaboratives, or to revitalize existing employer-led collaboratives, under the agency’s Michigan Industry Cluster Approach 2.0 (MICA 2.0).

An employer-led collaborative is a group of employers within a single industry, or geographic area, that have agreed to come together to solve a common, or shared, workforce challenge.  Employer-led collaboratives are poised to address a wide variety of issues, including talent recruitment; creating customized training programs including apprenticeships; providing support services, such as transportation and childcare: financial planning education, and success coaching to enhance retention and career mobility.

“These grants will fund innovative solutions that support Governor Whitmer’s jobs plan that is focused on creating more opportunities for Michigan residents to develop high-wage skills,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, acting director of the Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan.  “Talent gap shortages are handled more efficiently through multi-company, industry-focused recruitment and training efforts.  The collaboratives provide employers with the opportunity to make an investment in the workforce, train individuals in the skills they need to make their business successful and create a pipeline of talent that can continue to progress within their career pathway.”

Industry sector partnerships bring together employers, education and training institutions, workforce development organizations, economic development organizations, community-based organizations, and government to formulate recruitment, training and education solutions to fill identified talent gaps within high-demand occupations.  The partnerships are focused on initiatives that are demand-driven where there are, or will be, significant job openings with high earning potential.  Some of the industries where these job openings exist include agriculture, construction, energy, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, manufacturing, mobility, and professional business trades.

There are currently over 40 formally identified industry cluster groups throughout Michigan.  The Workforce Development Agency develops statewide policy and provides technical assistance to support employer-led collaborative activities.

For more information about MICA 2.0, visit the Talent Investment Agency website.

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. Please visit our website to see all that we offer.