Engineer Showing Apprentice How To Use CNC Tool Making Machine

Since 2013 they have applied for and received millions of Going Pro Talent Fund dollars. The Going Pro Talent Fund (previously Skilled Trades Training Fund) provides competitive awards for short-term training that addresses documented skill deficits.

Employers play an integral role in the Talent Fund program; they work with their Michigan Works! agency (MWA) and partners in economic development and education to identify the skill deficit and develop the training.

Fundable training

The training must lead to full-time or continued employment. Allowable training and targeted funding amounts include:

  • Customized/classroom training: up to $1,500 per individual
  • On-site training: up to $1,500 per individual
  • US-DOL registered apprenticeships: up to $3,000 per individual

An additional $500 is allowed for new hire veterans (Form DD-214 required with reimbursement request).

Components of a successful application

A successful application for the Talent Fund outlines a customized training model that will adapt to the employer’s changing demand for talent. It should communicate a strong rationale for the training and include:

  • The issues that the company is facing and how it and the proposed training will address them with support from the state
  • Equipment that the company purchased or intends to purchase with regard to this training
  • Future business increases due to this training
  • Future business losses if training is not received
  • The impact the training will have on employees that receive training or the negative fallout should they not receive the training

Employer expectations

Employers who apply for a Talent Fund grant will be expected to:

  • Investigate and document the training need
  • Be involved in the planning and design of the training
  • Pay wages that are equal to or greater than the local prevailing wage for the applicable job title
  • Provide required documentation for reimbursement
  • Commit to retain employee(s) post training

How to apply

All Talent Fund applications must be submitted through a Michigan Works! agency. A business solutions representative will work with each employer to connect with partners to develop the training plan and ensure a complete and fundable application.

Completed applications for 2019 awards are due to Michigan Works! by 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 3, 2018. The Talent Investment Agency will announce the awards in early December.

Contact West Michigan Works! at or (616) 336-2393 for more information. Download the program overview for more details.