Michigan Works! Celebrates Year of Helping U.P. Businesses

Staff from Michigan Works! present a big check to a local employer.

The following article was produced and distributed by Radio Results Network

U.P. Michigan Works! continues to support employers and employees to get ready to win with access to valuable programs and resources.

Employers throughout the Upper Peninsula have found a particularly valuable funding program in the Going Pro Talent Fund, as many employers face ongoing struggles with workforce shortages and a persistent talent gap. In 2021, 59 U.P. employers were awarded funds, totaling nearly $1.5 million.

The fund is administered by the state’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and awarded through Michigan Works! agencies that continue to directly support U.P. employer workforce development needs, such as apprenticeships and on-the-job training.

“It is a competitive process to complete the application and be awarded and we are proud to work directly with our employer partners to make sure they have the best opportunity to receive funding,” said Debb Brunell, Chief Strategy Officer with U.P. Michigan Works. “In 2021, 63 of 65 Upper Peninsula applicants received funding through the Going PRO Talent Fund.”

Funding is utilized at the discretion of the company, going towards training that provides upskilling for workers and supporting new or improved credentials, certificates, and degrees.

One successful company to receive funding was Calumet Electronics, an electronics manufacturer located in Calumet and within Houghton County. Working directly with U.P. Michigan Works!, Calumet was awarded $82,000 in funding. The funding will be used to support training for employees enhancing skills in areas such as world-class manufacturing, root cause analysis, cybersecurity, and leadership.

“The funding for this program is beneficial in helping Calumet Electronics to reach its strategic goals,” said Meredith LaBeau, Chief Technology Officer. “With strong training programs, we are able to accomplish more. Enhancing our employee’s skillsets is critical to the future growth of the company.

The application period opens each August and recipients are announced in January.

For more information about the Going PRO Talent Fund and eligibility requirements, or for additional information about programs, contact your local Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! office, or visit upmichiganworks.org