Michigan has been awarded $38 million to provide job retraining and career support services for 8,600 dislocated workers in twenty-four counties, Governor Jennifer Granholm announced Tuesday.
With unemployment levels nearing 15 percent, and a $2.8 billion budget gap threatening a government shutdown, Michigan is hopeful that a program meant to provide job retraining will provide a boon to the slumping automotive sector.
“We fought hard to bring this money to Michigan and worked closely with Secretary Solis and our congressional delegation to ensure that we are able to provide thousands of dislocated workers the chance to start new careers in the sectors that are driving the diversification of Michigan’s economy,” Gov. Granholm said in a statement.
The U.S. Department of Labor awarded National Emergency Grants (NEGs) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to cover three of the hardest hit regions of Michigan. The grants are intended to expand service capacity and will provide funds to dislocated workers in those counties for one year. Those workers who have been dislocated, as well as those who become dislocated over the next two months are eligible to receive training and support services.
“We are committed to aggressively competing for additional funding to provide services Michigan’s citizens so desperately need,” Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG) Deputy Director Andy Levin said.
In a recent article, Nextgov chronicled Michigan’s use of information technology in helping to transform the state’s economic engine. Michigan officials are hopeful that broadband and electronic health records help entice more technology firms to move operations within Michigan’s borders, Nextgov’s Guatham Nagesh said in his article.