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Local Businesses Receive More Than $1.3 Million for Employee Training

Fifty-four Northwest Michigan area businesses have received grants totaling more than $1.325 million from the Michigan Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF) for the 2017-18 fiscal year. The grants, applied for through Northwest Michigan Works!, will help the companies train new and incumbent workers in a variety of skills.

The largest grant in the region went to Century, Inc., a manufacturing company in Traverse City. The company received $137,500 from the STTF.

“Century, Inc. is thrilled to receive this award to apply lean and six sigma principles throughout all aspects of our business,” said Jennifer Redumski, Century, Inc. HR Manager/Safety Director. “This grant will enable us to reduce lead time, deliveries, and rework through the company so that we can be as efficient as possible.”

Great Lakes Energy in Boyne City received a $36,000 grant to train both incumbent workers and new hires in a brand new Linemen Apprenticeship program. Twelve employees in all will receive this high-level training.

“We’re very proud to be recognized by the Talent Investment Agency as a grant recipient,” said Bill Scott, President & CEO of Great Lakes Energy. “Employee training is vital to any business, but for an electric utility, developing proper skills ensures the safety of our most valuable asset – our people. The funds will support training for our apprentice lineworkers, which is critical to our success and fills a gap in the workforce as they become technically skilled, top performing employees.”

Rexair in Cadillac received $14,495 to help train new and existing employees to take the place of employees who will be retiring.

“Rexair is happy to receive the STTF grant award which will be used in addition to our budgeted training funds,” said Kari Wineland, Rexair HR Manager. “The funds are targeted for our newest MAT2 apprentice and new up and coming high potential employees.”

Training funded by STTF grants in the region will include everything from LEAN training to very specific apprenticeship training. Training dollars went to multiple industries including healthcare, IT, manufacturing, nonprofits, agricultural, and more. Close to 1,500 existing employees and nearly 160 new employees are expected to be trained in the region.

The STTF provides competitive awards for employer responsive training that enhances talent, productivity, and employment retention while increasing the quality and competitiveness of Michigan’s businesses. The grants are awarded to help ensure that Michigan’s employers have the talent they need to compete and grow, and individuals have the skills they need for in-demand jobs.

More information about the STTF and a full list of the 2017-18 grant recipients is available at:

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- Mark Heydlauff, Charlevoix City Manager