A trio of programs aim to give Michigan workers the resources they need to find success in their careers.
LANSING, Mich.—A series of Michigan jobs programs funded in part through the state’s most recent budget aim to improve opportunities for Michigan workers while also growing the state’s economy.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at the end of September signed a budget that puts a financial emphasis on investing in education and skills for Michigan’s workforce. The crux of the three programs is the same: improving worker access to the skills and education they may need to find success in their careers.
“This is a budget that puts Michiganders first,” Whitmer said when she signed the budget at Lansing Community College on Sept. 29. “We are coming together to grow the middle class, support small businesses, and invest in our communities.”
Here’s a look inside that budget, with a breakdown of the jobs programs it supports.
Going Pro in Michigan
College isn’t for everyone. In Michigan, officials understand that and have made contingencies for those who want to seek out a different career path.
That’s where the Going Pro in Michigan program comes in. The program was created to afford opportunities to people interested in going into a trade school, a career path that includes everything from welders to electricians.
In Michigan, the Going Pro program backs employer-based training grants to help workers earn industry-recognized credentials and certificates, following a similar strategy as the other programs by putting workers in a good place to build their careers.
“Solidifying Michigan’s role as the global mobility leader has to be a priority for our state, and that requires an investment in innovation and talent,” according to Glenn Stevens Jr., the executive director of MICHauto and vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives for the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Funding a Future for Michigan’s Frontliners
One program supported through Michigan’s 2022 fiscal year budget is the Futures for Frontliners program, which aims to provide community college opportunities to frontline employees working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The idea behind the program is that frontline workers will be afforded the opportunity to get a post-secondary education, opening for them doorways to professional promotions and further opportunities.
According to the program website, Michiganders with high school credentials earn more than $6,000 more than those without. That number increases to $7,500 for those with a 2-year college degree. Maybe even more importantly, more than 75% of Michigan jobs require education beyond high school.
“Community colleges are a proud partner in the statewide effort to build a better Michigan,” said Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, Ph.D., the president at Mott Community College. “This bipartisan, forward-thinking commitment to higher education and skills training will make our state stronger and ready for the challenges of the future.”
Reconnecting Michiganders with Steady Jobs and Careers
Between Michigan’s Futures for Frontliners program and the Michigan Reconnect program, more than 167,000 state residents have signed up for the opportunity to take a step forward in their careers.
With the Michigan Reconnect program, those opportunities are expanded to people 25 and older looking to obtain an associate’s degree at an area community college or private training school.
Both the Reconnect and the Frontliners programs strive for the same goal, a statewide push to have 60% of working-age Michiganders possess a skill certificate or college degree by 2030.
“This sustainable, bipartisan budget will make key investments to address the number one issue for the business community: talent,” said Rick Baker, the president and CEO of the Grant Rapids Chamber of Commerce.