Going PRO Talent Fund Helps Lansing Region Businesses Close Skills Gap

Overwhelmingly, businesses in the Lansing region are struggling to attract, develop and retain talent. In fact, 68% of Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce members listed talent as the top issue facing their business in the chamber’s 2018 member survey. 

When chamber staff broke down that 68%, one of the significant areas of concern to businesses as it pertains to talent are the challenges combating the skilled workers shortage, and we are seeing this same message throughout the state. By 2026, there will be 545,000 jobs open in Michigan that require levels of specialized or skilled training. Our current talent pools don’t have nearly enough skilled workers to fill open jobs. 

Regrettably, there is not a silver bullet for this dilemma; however, there are a number of proactive steps being taken to close the skills gap. One program that has already produced success is the Going PRO Talent Fund. Going PRO, formally known as the Skilled Trades Training Fund, was created to assist employers in training, developing and retaining current and newly hired employees. Businesses of all sizes have been utilizing the program since its inception and are seeing real results.

In Greater Lansing, businesses are enhancing their workforces and combating the skilled workers shortage by utilizing more than $1.5 million awarded through the Going PRO 

Talent Fund to train employees to gain specialized skills. The state of Michigan Talent Investment Agency distributes the funds to Lansing businesses through Capital Area Michigan Works!

Of the $1.5 million awarded to Lansing-area businesses, $825,137 of it went to 15 Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce members: Peckham Inc., Dowding Industries, Spartan Motors, Bekum America Corp., Cameron Tool Corp., Dart Bank, Hospice of Lansing, KTM Industries, Neogen, Niowave, Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center – URA, Peckham Diversified, Piper & Gold 

Public Relations, Sparrow Health System and Triterra.

We are encouraged by the early success of the Going PRO campaign and that local area businesses are taking advantage of this program to hire individuals who are ready to learn and ready to work. In addition, we appreciate the great partnerships we have with our regional chambers of commerce across Michigan, as well as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state Legislature for placing such a strong emphasis on cultivating and retaining talent. They are helping to provide the resources businesses need to continue to grow and thrive.Could your business utilize the Going PRO Trust Fund? 

Amanda Fischer, communication, policy and talent manager for the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, leads talent development efforts. If you have questions on talent and workforce development in the Lansing region or would like to be added to our list for more information on Going PRO funding, contact Fischer at afischer@lansingchamber.org or Capital Area Michigan Works! at (517) 492-5500.

For more information on the Going PRO Talent Fund, visit camw.org/employers/find-training-grants. 

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