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More than $17.8 million awarded to Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to connect Michiganders to Opportunity


October 20, 2020 

Media contact: Mike Murray, 517-275-1820 
More than $17.8 million awarded to Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to connect Michiganders to Opportunity 
LANSING — The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has been awarded $17,827,178.11 million in a U.S. Department of Education competitive grant to respond to the economic impact of COVID-19 in the state. These federal funds will help Michigan jobseekers make the jump from education and training to employment by delivering short- and mid-term customized training solutions. 
“As we create pathways to education for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders with programs like Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect, this funding is critical in ensuring we help our workforce move on to the next step,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said. “This funding will help connect more families to better jobs and bigger paychecks.”  
LEO’s Office of Employment and Training will implement the Michigan Learning and Education Advancement Program (MiLEAP) with the new grant award. MiLEAP will provide funds to subgrantees to assist jobseekers in transitioning from short- and mid-term education and training programs to high-skill, high-wage career pathways, resulting in industry-recognized credential attainment and reduced educational debt.  
“Michigan’s workforce and postsecondary education systems are ready to leap into action by serving jobseekers looking to earn credentials, gain skills to employment, return to work, and advance in a career pathway,” said LEO Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn. “This is yet another example of the many ways Michigan is working diligently to support essential workers and others with the next steps on their career path.” 
Key workforce development partners who will support this grant include employers, labor, Michigan Works! Agencies, Michigan Community Colleges and other institutions of higher education and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  
Michigan employers will be engaged in MiLEAP by joining multi-employer consortia to address regional workforce needs and advance existing employees through re- and upskilling. 
MiLEAP will intentionally target services to individuals who are dislocated, underemployed, serving as essential workers, living in distressed rural and urban communities and economically disadvantaged. 
Additionally, the program will create MiLEAP Navigators who will provide jobseekers with 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. 
More information about postsecondary opportunities in Michigan is available at