Wednesday, July 12, 2000
Communities Across State Benefit The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced that an additional 7,400 Michigan workers will have the opportunity to improve their job skills through $3,263,163 million in grants. Twenty-eight new grants, funded by the state's Economic Development Job Training (EDJT) program, will be used to upgrade the skills of workers at another 71 Michigan companies. "These grants, coupled with the over $28 million already awarded this year in EDJT grants and the $60 million already in place for the new Michigan Technical Education CentersSM, will be the cornerstones of Michigan's worker training program," said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "Companies come to Michigan because of our strong workforce. The EDJT program allows us to address the skill needs of a company with the trained workers to fill them." The EDJT program helps Michigan businesses create new jobs or retain existing jobs by improving the skills and competitiveness of Michigan's workforce. Under the requirements of the EDJT program, employers must provide a 25 percent match for training existing workers. The funds are provided to local community colleges, vocational-technical schools or other training providers. Much of this year's training will be delivered through distance learning programs. With programs available for almost every skill need, training through entities like the Michigan Virtual University are more in demand, as virtual training grows more readily available across Michigan. Also, as the state's sixteen Michigan Technical Education Centers (M-TECs) open for business, more companies are expected to utilize their training services, which are tailored to each company's skill needs and time demands. "Technology has helped us train more workers in recent years," Rothwell said. "Using tools like the Internet, video and satellite, we are able to reach more companies and their employees."