Influx of training dollars critical during times of low unemployment

The Talent Investment Agency for the state of Michigan announced today its Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF) awards for FY 2018.  Since 2013, the STTF has injected millions of dollars into the Michigan economy for short-term training in high-demand occupations. This year employers in the seven-county West Michigan region (Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon and Ottawa) have been awarded $8.4 million in training funds, an increase of 56% over last year’s total.

“With today’s low unemployment rates, these funds are more critical than ever,” said Deb Lyzenga, Regional Director, Business Solutions for West Michigan Works!. “Employers will be able to increase production and employee retention by investing in the training and development of their existing workforce. For years we have been talking about the skills gap; this is one of the ways employers can address it head on.”

West Michigan Works! will notify 212 employers that their applications are being funded in amounts ranging from $1,293 to $299,455. This is the largest number of West Michigan employers receiving funding to date, with 84 being first-time recipients. The employers are primarily manufacturers, but there is a good mix of healthcare, technology, and construction employers.

2018 STTF Grant Recipients>

STTF Awards by FY
FY16 FY17 FY18
Awards 74 136 212
Amount Awarded $3.1M $5.1M $8.4M
FY18 STTF Awards by Sector
Agriculture & Food Processing 8
Construction, Utilities, Transportation 21
Healthcare 25
IT 9
Manufacturing 143
Services 6


Ionia Sentinel: Four Ionia businesses receive Skilled Trades funding
MLive: Lakeshore employers doubling down on state training grants in 2018