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Where Gov. Whitmer assigned $15.6 million in back to work funds

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer assigned where $15.6 million in back to work funds will go, she announced Thursday.
Credit: AP
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a press event providing an update on the state's COVID-19 response at Dow Diamond on Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Midland, Mich. Michigan will fully lift outdoor capacity limits on June 1 and, starting July 1, end indoor gathering caps that were put in place to curb COVID-19, Whitmer announced Thursday in a major loosening of economic restrictions. (Kaytie Boomer/The Bay City Times via AP)

LANSING, Mich. — Grants totaling $15.6 million will be awarded to 10 groups, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) announced Thursday.

The grants, called the Michigan Learning and Education Advancement Program (MiLEAP), were provided to organizations that give support to individuals who are dislocated, underemployed, serving as essential workers, living in distressed rural and urban communities or economically disadvantaged, Whitmer says.

MiLEAP will assist job seekers in transitioning from education and training programs to skilled, high-paying careers. Organizers hope the funds will help reduce educational debt and help Michiganders get back on their feet after the pandemic.

Its mission also aligns with Sixty by 30, a program with the goal of increasing the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60% by 2030 in Michigan.

“My administration is committed to uplifting Michiganders whose economic security has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“By providing grants to help people make the move from education or training programs to good-paying, high-skill jobs, we can ensure all Michiganders thrive as we continue our economic jumpstart.”

The $15.6 million investment will allow the organizations to serve an estimated 5,069 participants. The 10 grant recipients include:

  • Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! (serving an estimated 450 participants, awarded $1,695,000)
  • Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (556 participants, $1,998,200)
  • Networks Northwest dba Northwest Michigan Works! (375 participants, $1,109,966)
  • West Michigan Works! (667 participants, $2,000,000)
  • Oakland County Michigan Works! (667 participants, $2,000,000)
  • Berrien-Cass-Van Buren Michigan Works! (670 participants, $2,000,000)
  • Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Southwest Partnership (444 participants, $1,128,157)
  • Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium (460 participants, $1,375,000)
  • Michigan Works! West Central (180 participants, $540,000)
  • Mott Region 6 Consortium (600 participants, $1,799,758)

“By bringing a mix of economic development, education, non-profit and business partners together to serve as the MiLEAP consortia partners, we can ensure the customized programs developed will meet the unique needs of the over 5,000 program participants,” said LEO Acting Director Susan Corbin.

The funding for the program was provided through a Reimagine Workforce Preparation Grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The grant recipients were selected through a Request for Proposal process that ended in May 2021. The funds will be provided through September 2023.

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