Due to the weather, the Michigan Works! Service Centers in Kent and Muskegon will open at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.
The State of Michigan recently announced its Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF) awards for FY 2017. Since 2013, the STTF has injected millions of dollars into the Michigan economy for short term training in high-demand occupations. The thirteen-county West Michigan region has historically received the highest award totals and this year was no exception. Employers in West Michigan have been awarded more than $5.1 million in training funds. These employers are listed below by county.
ALLEGAN - $628,738 in funding
Bay Valley Foods LLC
Code Blue Corporation
Eclipse Tool & Die, Inc
K & R Truck Sales Inc
MPF Acquisitions, Inc
Parker Hannifin Corporation
Perrigo Company - Allegan
Ropes Courses, Inc
Stampede Die and Engineering (Stampede Die Corp)
Trans-Matic Manufacturing Company
Uniform Color Company
Williams Tooling & Manufacturing, Inc
Windenmuller Electric, Inc
IONIA - $11,450 in funding
Metron Integrated Health Systems
KENT - $2,322,325 in funding
Action Mold and Machining, Inc
American Seating Co
Autocam Precision Components Group
Best Metal Products
Butterball Farms, Inc
Cascade Die Casting Group - Great Lakes
Cascade Die Casting Group - Mid State
Challenge Manufacturing - Walker Location
Cherry Street Services, Inc dba Cherry Health
Commercial Tool and Die
Cresco Solutions, Inc
CUP Acquisition LLC dba Custom Profile
D+M Metal Products
Die Cad Group, Inc
Elevator Up LLC
Engineered Tooling Systems, Inc
Gill Industries, Bond Facility
Gill Industries, Plainfield Facility
Health Net of West Michigan
Hearthside Food Solutions, LLC (H1)
Hearthside Food Solutions, LLC (H2)
Jireh Metal Products, Inc
Kenona Industries Inc
Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
Metron Integrated Health Systems - Cedar Springs
Metron Integrated Health Systems - Forest Hills
Michigan Turkey Producers, Inc
Micron Mfg Company
NVINT Services LLC
Oliver Packaging and Equipment Company
Open Systems Technologies DE, LLC
Plasan Carbon Composites
Precision Aerospace Corp
Rapid Tooling Systems, Inc
Rest Haven Homes, Inc
Specialty Tooling Systems
Steel Craft Technologies
Van Haren Electric
Walker Tool & Die, Inc
West Michigan International
West Thomas Partners, LLC (Gluten Free Bar)
Williams Distributing Co.
MONTCALM - $76,030 in funding
Greenville Tool & Die Co
Metron Integrated Health Systems – Greenville
MUSKEGON - $800,087 in funding
Anderson Global, Inc
Century Foundry, Inc
Howmet Corporation (also known as Alcoa Howmet)
L-3 Combat Propulsion Systems
Mercy Health Partners
Scherdel Sales & Technology
OTTAWA COUNTY - $1,280,003 in funding
Active Manufacturing Corp
Baumann Tool and Die
Benteler Automotive Aluminum
Carter Manufacturing Co., Inc
DHE Plumbing and Mechanical
Driesenga & Associates
H.S. Die & Engineering, Inc
ITW Powertrain Metals (ITW Drawform)
Magna Mirrors (Holland)
Magna Mirrors of America, Inc. dba Engineered Glass
Metron Integrated Health System - Lamont
MFP Automation Engineering
Parkway Electric & Communications, LLC
Shorescape Investments LLC
Star Crane & Hoist, Inc
Transfer Tool Products
Yanfeng Automotive Interiors
NPR of America
For fiscal year 2017, more than $5 million in Skilled Trades Training Funds (STTF) have been awarded to companies in the seven county region serviced by West Michigan Works! This includes nine employers in Muskegon County that received more than $700,000 in grant funding. The STTF grants are expected to impact 257 current full-time employees and 233 new full-time, permanent employees in Muskegon County.
"This fund is an incredible resource for local businesses to invest in their workforce and increase efficiency and productivity by giving workers additional skills," said Ed Gardener, president and CEO of Muskegon Area First.
Certain federal work requirements for able-bodied adults ages 18 to 49 without dependents go back into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, in Kent and Ottawa Counties.
Able-bodied individuals may only receive food assistance benefits for up to three months within a 36-month period without meeting these work requirements. After that time, they will be required to work an average of 20 hours per week in unsubsidized employment, participate 20 hours per week in an approved employment and training program or participate in community service at a nonprofit organization to continue to receive food assistance. More information>
The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded more than $111 million in grants to 23 regional partners in 28 states. Grants ranged from $1.8 to $6 million. Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) received $6 million to expand its workforce partnerships in West Michigan.
The funding will be used to provide health care employee retention, recruitment and training. Bill Pink, Dean and Vice President of GRCC’s School of Workforce Development stated, “West Michigan’s health care employers have been struggling to fill positions ranging from entry-level to highly skilled jobs.” Pink added, “community-wide collaboration will be vital to addressing these talent needs.”
GRCC will lead a coalition of education institutions and community groups that includes West Michigan Works! on the project. “Our partnership with West Michigan Works! and community-based organizations will be key to recruitment, retention and employment success,” said Julie Pars, GRCC’s Executive Director of Workforce Training.
A 2015 survey by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute reported that 80 percent of manufacturers believe the growing skills gap will affect their productivity, and this is only expected to increase. Over the next decade there will likely be over 3 million manufacturing jobs needed and 2 million will go unfilled due to the skills gap.
LINKED Muskegon is a collaborative effort in Muskegon County between the area’s adult education programs, the Career Technical Center and West Michigan Works!. During the 18 week program, students work on high school diploma or GED completion, receive training in CNC machining or welding and develop employability skills to prepare them for their future careers.
Ten students participated in the pilot program during the spring of 2016. The program culminated with a showcase where students met with local employers to discuss their experience and skills. Seven of the pilot program's participants were placed into employment and seven received their GED or high school diploma upon completion.
In 2015, local health care providers, community colleges and West Michigan Works! launched the nation’s first Medical Assistant Registered Apprenticeship Program (MARAP). The program was developed in response to the growing need for Medical Assistants and an expected lack of qualified talent. The success of MARAP and the increased demand for health care talent has driven expansion and the creation of a new Sterile Processing Apprenticeship Program.
Following a hybrid model, the apprenticeship programs are run by the employer with assistance from West Michigan Works!. “We can market high-demand careers and help with administration, which includes braiding funding sources to maximize the dollars available,” explained Deb Lyzenga, Regional Business Solutions Director. “Employers are seeing the results of the MARAP program and recognizing the advantages of working with West Michigan Works!”
The desire to develop apprenticeship programs is not unique to health care. A consortium of local manufacturers is now working with West Michigan Works! to create a program for Industrial Maintenance Mechanics. Jobs in this field are expected to grow by 29% from 2012 – 2022.
Governor Snyder has announced that October is Careers in Construction month. Michigan is one of 22 states and Washington DC that have made this proclamation. The Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter (ABC/WMC), as part of the Construction Workforce Development Alliance (CWDA), is celebrating the people and the career pathways in the industry.
The CWDA also partnered with the Kent Intermediate School District’s Career Readiness Department and their STEM consultants to connect the construction industry to education during the weeks of October 17 – 28.
Star Crane and Hoist in Allendale hosted 19 students from the Ottawa County Careerline Tech Center to learn about jobs that don’t require a college degree. During the visit, students learned that 83 percent of manufacturers say they lack skilled workers, which hurts their business. Over the next decade, an estimated 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled, but the skills gap will leave 2 million of those jobs unfilled.
Ellis Luchies, Star Crane and Hoist human resources manager said, “we participated in this as part of our community outreach and support of the West Michigan Works initiatives to help strengthen our state and workforce.”