Gov. Whitmer announces more than $2.5 million available to help Michigan businesses address talent shortages

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This article was produced and distributed by the State of MI

Michigan Industry Cluster Approach 3.0 funding proposals due to Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity by Sept. 21

LANSING, Mich.—Gov. Whitmer joins the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to announce a competitive Request for Proposals to develop and launch the Michigan Industry Cluster Approach 3.0 (MICA 3.0) initiative. There is $2.5 million available to fund grant awards to support the development of a new, or the revitalization of an existing employer-led collaborative.

“These grants will expand opportunity for Michiganders statewide as we continue our economic jumpstart and help small businesses emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Employer-led collaboratives help small businesses entice talented employees, create better training programs, and offer critical wraparound services including childcare. By funding these programs, we can help businesses thrive and ensure workers get bigger paychecks and better benefits.”

Successful applicants must be focused on the creation of opportunities in agriculture, construction, energy, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, manufacturing or mobility, in professional and skilled trades. LEO anticipates funding 10-15 awardees, ranging from $150,000 to $250,000 each.

“These grants will ultimately support the growth of opportunities for Michiganders statewide,” said LEO Acting Director Susan Corbin. “It offers a brighter, more secure future for workers who will receive the training and support needed to succeed in the 21st-century global economy.”

An employer-led collaborative is a group of businesses coming together to solve a common or shared workforce problem. Employer-led collaboratives bring together employers, education and training institutions, workforce development organizations, and other applicable partners such as economic development organizations and government, to create solutions to fill identified talent gaps.

“Employer-led collaboratives are uniquely poised to address a wide variety of workforce issues, including talent recruitment, creating customized training programs, and providing support services such as transportation and childcare,” said LEO’s Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn. “Through this approach, we support the growth of our state’s businesses while creating opportunities for credential attainment and bigger paychecks for Michigan workers.”

There are currently more than 60 formally identified employer-led collaboratives throughout Michigan. LEO creates statewide policy and provides technical assistance to support employer-led collaborative activities.

Request for Proposal submissions are due by September 21, 2021, with awards announced on November 17, 2021. To assist applicants in completing their proposal submissions, an informational webinar will be held on August 25 at 9 a.m. Potential grant applicants can register to attend the webinar and learn more about this RFP opportunity by visiting 

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