Upper Peninsula receives Skilled Trades Training Fund money

ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - The UPWARD Talent Council announced the Upper Peninsula has received funding in total of $685,097 for the Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF). Applications closed on October 6, 2017 and award recipients were announced Wednesday, November 29th. A full list of recipients can be found on the Michigan Workforce Development Agency website.

STTF increases the quality and competitiveness of Michigan’s employers by providing competitive awards for customized employer responsive training. The intent of these awards are to enhance and train talent, increase productivity and employment retention, support registered apprenticeships, and meet the current demand needed to address the skills gaps of employees.

Michigan’s Talent Investment Agency (TIA) states training must be “customized to meet employee skill requirements and is short-term in duration, preferably less than three months, with no training extending more than six months.” TIA more specifically states, “The training must lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and recognized by industry.” Employers who utilize these grant funds must commit to retaining employees after completion of their training.

STTF funds are granted through Michigan Works! agencies (MWA). The Upper Peninsula’s UPWARD Talent Council MWA serves all 15 counties. Employers who were interested in STTF worked with their local Michigan Works! staff to determine whether they were eligible to receive training funds. The MWA then submitted the application through collaboration on behalf of the employer in early October.

From 2014-2017, 1,422 companies state-wide were awarded training funds. The average amount of each award was $33,938. The average training cost per person was $995. Sizes of companies receiving awards range from less than 100 employees, to 500 or more employees. Employers are encouraged to hire veterans and receive an additional $500 for each newly-hired veteran.

Verso Corporation in Escanaba received $146,469. “At Verso, Michigan Works! played an instrumental part in our ability to obtain grant money for 2018 through the Michigan STTF. There is no doubt their assistance and guidance helped us obtain this significant award,” said Verso’s Training Manager, Gary VanDrese. “Our continuing partnership, along with the grant monies, will allow us to bring in new talented recruits to fill our vacancies next year. It will also allow us to upgrade the skills of our current maintenance work force, something we’ve been financially challenged to accomplish in recent years. Thank you Michigan Works!”

UPWARD Talent Council Michigan Works! wants to say thank you to the Talent Investment Agency for giving Michigan’s employers the opportunity to develop talent and close skills gaps, and giving Michigan’s job seekers the opportunity to gain a credential and retain employment that will improve their life.

For more information about the Michigan Works! Services and STTF, please contact your local service center. For information on contacting us, please visit our website at www.upmichiganworks.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @UPMichiganWorks.

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