Going PRO Grant Cycle Opens, Targeting 545,000 Job Openings by 2026

The state of Michigan knows that the need for talent has never been greater. They also want you to know that if your company continues to struggle to find the talent necessary to fill open positions, the Going PRO Talent Fund cycle has officially begun for this fall, designed to help you solve some of those workforce issues, and locally, the Kinexus Group is ready to help with your application.

Projections show that by the end of 2026, Michigan will experience a professional trades workforce gap with more than 545,000 job openings due to retiring baby boomers and the emergence of new technologies.

Going PRO Talent Fund grants being offered up create public-private partnerships with employers to design training models that adapt with changing employer demand. Criteria for the grants include that training is short term, must lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable, recognized by industry, and must lead to or continue permanent, full-time employment.

Since 2014, the State of Michigan has dedicated more than $99 million dollars through the Talent Fund and its predecessor, the Skilled Trades Training Fund. That investment has resulted in 3,096 competitive awards to Michigan companies, the creation of 21,545 jobs, and the retention of 72,542 jobs since the program’s inception.

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced a new statewide goal of increasing the number of Michiganders between the ages of 16 and 64 with a post-secondary credential from 45- to 60-percent by the year 2030. The Talent Fund supports the Governor’s goal by providing a path for working Michiganders to up-skill through employer training and in-demand industry certifications.

The Talent Fund program is implemented locally by the 16 Michigan Works! Agencies, including the Kinexus Group here in Southwest Michigan, who handle outreach to employers in each region. Employers with a need for skill enhancement, including apprenticeship programs and advance-technology training programs for current employees or individuals to be hired, may be eligible to apply.

The application period for the Fiscal Year 2020 grants, which features a new online application system, officially opened yesterday, Thursday, September 12th, 2019 and will close Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019, at 5:00 pm EST.

A list of Michigan Works! contacts for employers and more information on the Talent Fund, including a link to the online application system, can be found on the Going PRO Talent Fund website.