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Labor and Economic Opportunity

$16M available to connect Michiganders impacted by COVID-19 to customized training opportunities

Proposals for training programs funding due by May 7

March 31, 2021

Media Contact: Mike Murray, 517-275-1820

LANSING, Mich.-The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) released a competitive Request for Proposals to fund customized training programs through the Michigan Learning and Education Advancement Program (MiLEAP) for job seekers across the state who have been economically impacted by COVID-19. More than $16M is available to fund grant awards to groups who will work as regional consortia to support individuals who are dislocated, underemployed, serving as essential workers, living in distressed rural and urban communities or economically disadvantaged.

MiLEAP funds will allow recipients to help Michigan job seekers make the leap from education and training to employment by delivering short- and mid-term customized training solutions.

LEO anticipates funding a minimum of eight awardees with a maximum of $2M each for a three-year program. Grant recipients will perform work from July 2021 through June 2023.

"Along with Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect, MiLEAP is an innovative approach to providing education and training opportunities to support Michiganders," said LEO Acting Director Susan Corbin. "By offering training that is customized to the individual, MiLEAP will enable participants to take the next step on their pathway to financial security."

MiLEAP funds will assist job seekers in transitioning from education and training programs to high-skill, high-wage career pathways, resulting in industry-recognized credential attainment and reduced educational debt.

Regional Consortia - each led by partnerships between the state's Perkins Institutions of Higher Education and Michigan Works! Agencies - will lead program implementation activities. Other consortia partners may include employers, business and industry associations, labor, non-Perkins institutions of higher education, nonprofits and other groups associated with workforce development. MiLEAP Regional Consortia will address regional workforce needs and advance existing employees through re- and upskilling.

"We recognized there were many challenges in developing a program that could offer customized solutions statewide - but that's exactly what is needed, and that's exactly what we created," said LEO's Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn. "By bringing together Michigan's workforce and postsecondary education systems, MiLEAP allows partners throughout the state to effectively serve job seekers looking to earn credentials, gain skills to employment, return to work, and advance in a career pathway."

Additionally, grant funds will support the creation of MiLEAP Navigators who will provide job seekers direct assistance in assessing and overcoming barriers, identifying resources and providing guidance and support. MiLEAP participants will receive individualized competency-based assessments and learning plans that include skills assessments, remote learning opportunities, high school and industry credential attainment and contextual learning opportunities.

Funding for MiLEAP was provided through a Reimagine Workforce Preparation Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

MiLEAP aligns with Michigan's Sixty by 30 goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60% by 2030.

Request for Proposals submissions are due by Friday, May 7, 2021 with awardees will be notified by on Friday, May 28, 2021. A pre-submission informational webinar will occur on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 to provide an overview of the process for potential applicants. Pre-registration is required to attend the informational webinar.

More information about MiLEAP and the informational webinar is available at Michigan.gov/MiLEAP.