Michigan Works! Helps U.P. Employers Utilize Training Funds to Address Workforce Challenges

Michigan Works! presents Aspirus with a big check.

UPPER PENINSULA – U.P. Michigan Works! continues to support employers and employees in getting ready to win by providing 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 of them face ongoing struggles with workforce shortages and a persistent talent gap. In 2021, 57 U.P. employers were awarded funds, totaling nearly $1.5 million. Of the 57, 48 applied as independent businesses and 9 applied as part of industry-led collaboratives.

The fund is administered by the State’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and is awarded through Michigan Works! Agencies. Michigan Works! continues to directly support U.P. employers’ workforce development needs through apprenticeships, classroom training, and on-the-job training.

“It is a competitive process to complete the application and be awarded. We are proud to work directly with our employer partners to make sure they have the best opportunity to receive funding,” said Debb Brunell, U.P. Michigan Works! Chief Strategy Officer. “In 2022, 63 out of 65 Upper Peninsula applicants who applied independently received funding through the Going PRO Talent Fund.”

So far, 3 Upper Peninsula applicants who applied as part of industry-led collaboratives have also received funding, bringing the total for 2022 up to 66 successful applicants.

Companies are reimbursed for training that provides upskilling to workers and supports new or improved credentials, certificates, and degrees.

Aspirus Health, a healthcare provider located in Gogebic, Houghton, and Iron Counties, is receiving training funds from the Going PRO Talent Fund. Working directly with U.P. Michigan Works!, Aspirus Health was awarded a total of $52,500 in funding for employee training at their three locations. The funding will be used to support Medical Assistant Apprenticeships and on-the-job training for new employees. It will enhance their skills and help them get ready to win in healthcare.

“We are thrilled to accept this grant and use the funds towards our Medical Assistant Apprentice Program,” said Lindsay Jenson, Aspirus Talent Delivery Partner. “This program advanced three Aspirus employees who were interested in furthering their education and becoming Certified Medical Assistants. All three employees are now certified and working in our Aspirus Clinics caring for our communities.”

The application period for the Going PRO Talent Fund opens each Fall and recipients of funding are announced in January.

For more information about the Going PRO Talent Fund and eligibility requirements, or for more information about programs, contact your local Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! office by calling 800-285-9675, or visiting upmichiganworks.org.

Click this link for more information about our employer services.