Regional Talent Innovation Grant Provides Training For Over 200 People

by Caroline Roberts on February 26, 2024

Introduced in 2022 and completed by MMDC in 2023, the Region Talent Innovation program aimed to provide 200 individuals from across Michigan’s Region 5 (Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, and Saginaw Counties) with practical job training and industry-recognized credentials with a focus on Industry 4.0. Marked as the first of its kind, the MMDC team developed this job training program from scratch using federal housing grant funds and then partnered with Mid Michigan College and Delta College to conduct the job training. Although the original plan was to conclude training for 200 individuals by April of 2023, we extended the program, while managing to stay well under our budget, and provided job training for an additional 49 individuals between April and September.

A key federal requirement of this program, since the source was HUD housing funds, was to ensure at least 51% of those enrolled in the program were of Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI). With the extended time frame, we were able to deal with some major programmatic challenges in balancing the number of people being trained with the federal LMI requirement. Plus, HUD rules dictated that all those being trained were required to submit extensive paperwork in order to prove their income level, including copies of their 1040 and W2, along with a copy of their driver’s license. Despite these significant challenges, our team, with help from our regional partners, were able to enroll 249 individuals with 53% of them falling within the low-to-moderate income bracket.

Although RTIG was a region-led initiative, many of the companies that participated in providing training to their eligible employees were located in Clare, Gladwin and Isabella counties. This included:

Bandit Industries
Bavarian Inn Bake Shop
Bill’s Custom Fabrications, Inc.
DoubleTree by Hilton Bay City Riverfront
Dove Corporation
Flynn Lumber
Gladwin City Housing Commission
Integrity Fabrications & Machine
Isabella Bank

Isabella Community Credit Union
Jay’s Sporting Goods
Lear Corporation- Farwell
Melling Products North
Michigan Health Improvement Alliance
Michigan Sugar Company
Michigan Works 7B
Michigan Works Great Lakes Bay
Mid Michigan Industries
Mid Michigan Industries

MKR Fabricators
Monark Equipment Tech. Company
Outdoor Adventures
Partlo Property Management
Renesol Corporation
Rite Hite Products Clare
Rowley’s Wholesale
Saint-Gobain Life Sciences
The Taste of Midland


Tags: talent retention

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