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Whitmer, LEO announce support for customized training to get residents back to work

Upper Peninsula Michigan Works!, serving about 450 participants, was awarded nearly $1.7 million.
Michigan map graphic.
Michigan map graphic.(WLUC)
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 10:19 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) Thursday announced the recipients of grants totaling more than $15.6 million to help get Michigan back to work.

The Michigan Learning and Education Advancement Program (MiLEAP) grants have been awarded to 10 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.

“My administration is committed to uplifting Michiganders whose economic security has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “By providing grants to help people make the move from education or training programs to good-paying, high-skill jobs, we can ensure all Michiganders thrive as we continue our economic jumpstart. The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and their Regional Consortia partners will help people get back on their feet and take the next step on their path to financial security.”

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

In all, the $15.6 million investment will allow the 10 awardees to serve an estimated 5,069 participants. The 10 grant recipients include regional consortia led by:

  • Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! (serving an estimated 450 participants, awarded $1,695,000)
  • Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (556 participants, $1,998,200)
  • Networks Northwest dba Northwest Michigan Works! (375 participants, $1,109,966)
  • West Michigan Works! (667 participants, $2,000,000)
  • Oakland County Michigan Works! (667 participants, $2,000,000)
  • Berrien-Cass-Van Buren Michigan Works! (670 participants, $2,000,000)
  • Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Southwest Partnership (444 participants, $1,128,157)
  • Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium (460 participants, $1,375,000)
  • Michigan Works! West Central (180 participants, $540,000)
  • Mott Region 6 Consortium (600 participants, $1,799,758)

“By bringing a mix of economic development, education, non-profit and business partners together to serve as the MiLEAP consortia partners, we can ensure the customized programs developed will meet the unique needs of the over 5,000 program participants,” said LEO Acting Director Susan Corbin.

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 recognized credential attainment and contextual learning opportunities.

Funding for MiLEAP was provided through a Reimagine Workforce Preparation Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant recipients, who were selected through a Request for Proposal process that concluded in May 2021, will perform work through September 2023.

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. More information about MiLEAP is available at Michigan.gov/MiLEAP.

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