Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced a total of $711,06l in Economic Development Job Training (EDJT) grants to upgrade the skills of 1,249 workers employed by 24 companies across Western and Lower Michigan.
“The availability of a highly skilled and adaptable workforce is a major factor in business expansion, location and retention decisions,” Granholm said. “Upgrading the skills of our workers is an investment in Michigan’s manufacturing sector to ensure that our companies remain competitive in today’s global economy.”
A $363,500 EDJT grant will be used to upgrade the skills of 624 current workers and 103 new hires at 19 companies in Allegan, Berrien, Gratiot, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Van Buren and Wexford counties. Training will be delivered through Muskegon Community College. The grant is provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation as part of the Manufacturing Competitiveness Program (MCP), an initiative to encourage collaboration between regional employers.
An MCP grant totaling $93,000 will be used to upgrade skills of 224 current employees and 33 new hires at three companies in Barry and Calhoun counties with training delivered at Kellogg Community College.
In addition, EDJT grants amounting to $254,561 will be used for the training of 184 current employees and 81 new hires at two companies in Berrien and Kent counties with training supplied by local educational institutions.
Employees will gain cutting-edge training in advanced automotive and manufacturing applications as defined by each company’s products and needs.
The MCP aims to streamline the training process by serving several companies through a single grant to make the most economical use of state funding. Under the program, 13 Regional Skills Alliances were created to provide industry-specific training by companies within a geographical regional of the state.
The MCP grant of $363,500 will support training through Muskegon Community College as follows:
- Brink’s Machine Companyin Alma, 13 current employees, two new hires;
- CG Automation & Fixturein Comstock Park, 28 current employees, two new hires;
- Dumbarton Toolin Cadillac, 17 current employees and three new hires;
- Legacy Precision Moldsin Grandville, eight current employees, one new hire;
- Precision Wire EDM Servicein Walker, six current employees, two new hires;
- Bessey Tool & Diein Sparta, 19 current employees, three new hires;
- Commercial Tool & Diein Comstock Park, 136 current employees, four new hires;
- Alto Precisionin Grand Rapids, 38 current employees, three new hires;
- Digital Tool & Diein Grandville, 20 current employees, two new hires;
- R & G Mold & Engineeringin Grandville, eight current employees and two new hires;
- Great Lakes Belting & Supplyin Paw Paw, 15 current employees, two new hires;
- Byrne Tool & Diein Rockford, 15 current employees;
- PURformsin Lowell, 26 current employees, 10 new hires;
- Direct Tooling Groupin Wayland, 49 current employees, 20 new hires;
- Certified Metal Finishingin Benton Harbor, 15 current employees, five new hires;
- Lawrence Industriesin Kalamazoo, 12 current employees, four new hires;
- Lasers Unlimitedin Kentwood, 22 current employees, 3 new hires;
- Kalamazoo Steel Processingin Kalamazoo, 23 current employees, four new hires; and
- Great Lakes Die Castin Muskegon, 154 current employees, 31 new hires.
A grant of $93,000 will support training through Kellogg Community College as follows:
- Bradford Whitein Middleville, 125 current employees, 25 new hires;
- Middleville Tool & Diein Middleville, 64 current employees, six new hires; and
- Pyper Productsin Battle Creek, 35 current employees, two new hires.
In addition, job training grants will be used as follows:
- Whirlpoolin Benton Harbor, $214,390 for 184 current employees through Lake Michigan College;
- Farmers Insurance Exchange (Foremost)in Caledonia, $40,171 for 81 new hires through Grand Rapids Community College.
“Manufacturing innovation requires employees and employers to incorporate new processes and technologies on an ongoing basis,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “This funding will keep our companies competitive and keep them creating jobs in Michigan.”
Since 1994, more than $335 million in EDJT grants has helped almost 600,000 Michigan workers improve their skills and enhance the competitiveness of their employers.
In her 2006 State of the State address, Governor Granholm emphasized the need to make Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Strengthening Michigan’s workforce is part of that plan, with job training one of the tools used to enhance Michigan’s business-friendly climate.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. For more information about the MEDC, please visit the Web site at www.MichiganBusiness.org.
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