Washtenaw County companies win $200,000 in state employee training grants

Eleven Washtenaw County companies will receive over $200,000 in grant funding from the Michigan Talent Investment Agency for employee training initiatives ranging from Six Sigma certifications to hazardous materials training.
The grants are made possible by the state of Michigan's Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF), established in 2013. Michigan Works! Southeast (MWSE) helped 40 southeastern Michigan employers submit applications for funding this year and will administer a total of $1.2 million in grants to the 27 regional awardees.
Despite the name of the fund that makes the awards possible, MWSE spokesperson Nicole Bell says it's been "exciting" to see how the scope of award applicants has grown each year since the STTF's inception.
"Some of the companies we are working with are kind of outside the box of 'skilled trade,'" Bell says. "We have a couple food industries. In a couple other counties we have hospitals. When you think of skilled trades some people think of welders or electricians or something to that effect. This is just a little bit different and it encourages retention or new employment."
Some Washtenaw County awardees are very much in the traditional skilled trades wheelhouse, such as Milan Metal and Mahindra Tractor Assembly in Ann Arbor. However, this year's local awardees also include software consulting and developing companies. Ann Arbor's Menlo Innovations will use its $13,500 grant to offset onboarding training for its developers and Quantum Signal in Saline will use a $9,000 grant for CompTIA security and Linux certification trainings.

Patrick Dunn is the managing editor of Concentrate and an Ann Arbor-based freelance writer for numerous publications. Follow him on Twitter @patrickdunnhere.
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