Michigan’s $40 Million ‘Going Pro’ Fund Helps 30,000 Train and Get Jobs

by Scott McClallen


A $40 million project is estimated to help 30,000 workers statewide secure employment through the state’s Going PRO Talent Fund.

The program aims to lure back Michigan’s workforce lost during COVID-19, encourage specialization, and help businesses fill jobs in a tight labor market. Between Feb. 2020 and April 2020, Michigan’s labor force plunged by 341,500 or 6.9%. Labor force levels in Michigan have rebounded modestly, increasing by 139,400 or 3% percent from April 2020 to August 2021.

The bipartisan $40 million program aims to help 30,000 workers statewide to secure employment, industry-recognized credentials, and good wages by subsidizing training grants to more than 1,000 Michigan businesses. The full list of Going Pro Training Fund Awards can be found here.

“Michigan’s greatest asset is our people. We need to continue investing in them to ensure a strong economic recovery and growth,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “Programs like the Going PRO Talent Fund help us put Michiganders first, ensuring they can get on a path to a good-paying job and empower businesses of all sizes to develop the talent they need to compete in the global economy.”

Since its 2014 inception, Michigan has tapped the Talent Fund to help more than 5,000 Michigan businesses train, develop, and retain newly hired and current employees. Training must fill an employer’s specific need and lead to an industry-recognized, transferable credential.

The Going PRO Talent Fund has supported more than 150,000 workers.

“With professional trades accounting for 530,000 jobs in Michigan through 2028, with approximately 47,000 openings expected annually, this fund plays a vital role in helping Michigan employers meet their talent needs by investing in their current and future workers,” Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn said in a statement.

LEO gifts Going PRO Talent Fund awards to employers through Michigan Works! Agencies (MWAs). Participating employers define key training needs, then work with the local MWAs and other partners to develop training plans.

The Going PRO Talent Fund aligns with Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60% by 2030.

A list of grant recipients for the 2022 fiscal year is available online, visit here.

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Woman on a Job Interview” by Amtec Photos. CC BY-SA 2.0.






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