Your Workforce is Key to Your Success—Develop it With the Going PRO Talent Fund


BLOG-GPTF-(1).jpgWhen you think of improving your business, your mind may go straight to process—how can we incorporate Lean strategies, streamline with automation, or change our workflows to save money and increase efficiency. Yet, one of the best investments you can make in the performance of your business is in your workforce. Improving your organizational culture and leadership and enhancing employees’ skills can boost recruitment and retention and lead to greater job satisfaction and productivity. The best part? A MichiganWorks! program can help you make it all happen. Read on to learn more. 

It’s no secret that motivated and committed employees are in the best position to help you identify opportunities for improvement across your organization because they know their talents, opinions, and work are valued. That’s why it’s essential to create a culture and leadership team that gives employees a voice and makes them feel like they are an important part of the company instead of just a cog in the wheel. Providing opportunities for staff to gain skills and identify opportunities for advancement is also crucial, as it helps them envision a future with your company and ensures you have the skills internally to remain competitive. Having a robust plan for giving your staff the training, support, and positive working environment they need benefits your employees and every aspect of your operations. 

$54 Million in Training Funds is Up for Grabs

With all of this in mind, Michigan manufacturers have a vital workforce development resource in their corner— the Going PRO Talent Fund (GPTF). This fund provides financial awards to companies with demonstrated talent gaps to help them recruit and retain employees and thrive in a competitive global marketplace. The initiative also works to increase the pool of available talent so Michigan can maintain and grow its manufacturing representation across many sectors. Finally, GPTF funds can be used to reskill employees in sectors that are evolving in response to new technology, consumer demands, and our ever-changing industry. 

Michigan companies have eagerly used the GPTF to strengthen their businesses for nearly a decade. Since the program’s launch in 2014, recipients have earned more than 6,300 awards with an average amount of over $30,000. A majority (60%) of recipients have been businesses with fewer than 100 employees. In FY23 alone, the GPTF spent nearly $65M on training and development for nearly 20,000+ existing employees and 17,000 new hires across our state. The GPTF is helping Michigan companies engage their employees and transform their operations—will yours be next? Learn how to apply below. 

The GPFT’s latest application cycle opens October 9th, and will grant training funds to employers for use within 12 months of the award date. Employees may receive up to $2000 for short-term classroom and on-the-job training and up to $3500 for Department of Labor-registered apprenticeships. Additionally, it is a competitive program and not all employers will be awarded funds. For FY2024, special consideration will be given to electric vehicle, infrastructure, and mobility-related companies. Companies also receive points for being minority-owned or disadvantaged businesses and  promoting flexible work policies (predictive scheduling, childcare and transportation assistance, etc). 

The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) is an approved training provider and is proud to work alongside MichiganWorks! to help employers understand the application process and assist with training plan development. 

Getting Started

So, how do employers get started on the path to a GPFT award? First, make sure you’re eligible. Participating employers must be based physically in Michigan, compliant with all tax requirements, and have a demonstrated need for skill enhancement, among other criteria. Next, employers must collaborate with MichiganWorks! and partners to identify skills gaps and plan training for full-time employees that will lead to a transferable, in-demand credential. Finally, employers will be notified if they are selected for an award and will execute the training contract and plan within 12 months of award. Our GPTF Resources provide general GPTF information and training worksheets to help you take the guesswork out of creating your course plan. You can also listen to MMTC staff discuss the process and answer questions in our recorded webinar here

The experts at MMTC can help small, mid-size, and large businesses develop a realistic, relevant training plan according to their needs and goals. MMTC provides a variety of training that is eligible for GPTF funding support, such as Manufacturing Skills Development, Understanding Lean Principles & Techniques 4.0, 8D Problem Solving, Food Processing Skills Development, Practical Approach to Project Management, Industry 4.0 and more. View the complete catalog of certification courses here.

The Going PRO Talent Fund is your chance to expand your impact in this industry, enhance your business, and fortify Michigan’s economy, and we are standing by to assist you. To learn more about the GPTF, click here or contact us at


Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at

Categories: Continuous Improvement, Leadership/Culture, U.S. Manufacturing, Workforce