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Hemlock Semiconductor Joins State Partnership to Lower Cost of Child Care for Employees
April 02, 2023
Michigan’s Tri-Share program makes child care more affordable, accessible by splitting cost between parents, employer, and the state
HEMLOCK, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Hemlock Semiconductor (HSC) as the newest Michigan employer to participate in MI Tri-Share, the state’s innovative cost-sharing program offering working parents access to child care at a third of the cost. To date, 139 employers are participating and parents save an average of $464 a month, or $5,568 a year.
“Quality, affordable child care helps parents go back to work knowing their kids are safe and is critical to growing our economy,” said Governor Whitmer. “I commend Hemlock Semiconductor, one of Michigan’s most well-known companies on the cutting edge of science and engineering, for joining our growing Tri-Share program. By splitting the cost of child care between parents, their employer, and the state, we can save families an average of $464 a month, help businesses meet talent needs, and build a brighter future for our state.”
“Many parents are struggling to find affordable and quality child care. These investments will help grow our economy and provide parents with the child care they need,” said Congressman Dan Kildee. “I am thrilled that Hemlock Semiconductor is joining a program that will put workers and their kids on a path to success. Greater access to child care makes mid-Michigan an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”
“One of the biggest barriers for people seeking to join or rejoin the workforce is the cost of child care — resulting in more parents being left out of the work force,” said Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “We applaud HSC for joining the ranks of employers participating in the MI Tri-Share child care program, and are thrilled to see their commitment to helping their hardworking parents thrive in and off the job.”
Tri-Share, a bipartisan program launched by Governor Whitmer as part of her ongoing effort to make child care accessible and affordable for all working families, splits the cost of child care equally by an eligible employee, their employer and the State of Michigan. The cost-splitting allows employers to create a competitive advantage when recruiting and retaining workers by providing a unique benefit at one-third the cost of providing the benefit themselves.
HSC, a leading provider of high-purity polysilicon products for the electronic and solar power industries, joins more than 120 businesses across Michigan now participating in the MI Tri-Share program.
In September 2022, Hemlock announced plans to invest $375 million and create an estimated 170 jobs at its facilities in Thomas Township, further ensuring Hemlock’s long-term commitment to continue to produce the essential polysilicon for the semiconductor and solar industries in Michigan. The company broke ground on its expansion project in October.
“At HSC, we put a high premium on work-life balance. We recognize that child care costs can be a burden for many of our valued employees and we want to help,” said Barbara Metcalf, chief human resources officer at HSC. “The Tri-Share program is a tremendous way to overcome this major barrier to employment for many families across the Great Lakes Bay region and it will help attract and retain the talented workforce we need to continue growing.”
Tri-Share is currently active in 13 regions, with coordination provided regional facilitator hubs in the Great Lakes Bay region, Northwest Lower Peninsula region, West Michigan region, Calhoun County, City of Detroit, the Northeast region, Upper Peninsula, Southeast region, Shiawassee County, Kent County, Kalamazoo County and St. Clair County.
“It is truly exciting to serve as one of the original hubs for the Michigan Tri-Share program and we are overjoyed to welcome Hemlock Semiconductor,” said Ericka M. Taylor, Ph.D., Executive Director of Early Childhood at Saginaw Intermediate School District. “This partnership solidifies a true commitment to helping employees with child care needs that will also enable them to increase staff retention. To date, we have provided over $40,000 in savings to families and look forward to increasing this number with new employers who sign on like HSC.”
Tri-Share helps families who make too much to qualify for the State of Michigan’s child care subsidy, but still struggle to afford child care. This also allows employees to take a promotion or a full-time position because the cost of child care is no longer a barrier to earning more money for their families.
“As we work to grow a robust talent pipeline in Michigan, it’s equally critical that we continue strengthening wraparound services such as child care to ensure everyone has access to a good-paying, pathway job that works for them and their families. The Tri-Share program is another premier example of Michigan stepping up as a leader in the country to support barrier removal for our workforce and improved access to high-quality talent for businesses,” said Kerry Ebersole Singh, Chief Talent Solutions and Engagement Officer at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). “Team Michigan remains committed to making sure that when it comes to finding a strong business climate, a great quality of life and a job that works for anyone’s lifestyle – Michigan is at the top of everyone’s list.”
Employees eligible to participate in the Tri-Share pilot must be employed by a participating employer, have an income above 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and below 325% FPL, and not otherwise be eligible for the Child Development and Care program (commonly called the state child care subsidy). Participating employers must agree to identify and recruit eligible employees, provide the employer portion of each participating employee’s child care costs and maintain communication with the facilitator hub regarding each employee’s continued employment and eligibility.
Governor Whitmer’s FY24 Budget Recommendations called for additional support for Tri-Share, with a $900,000 investment, to continue the unique collaboration that leverages both state and business support.
Learn more about the program at www.michigan.gov/TriShare.