Serving Bay, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, & Saginaw Counties


Senator Ken Horn & Kristen Wenzel
Senator Ken Horn & Kristen Wenzel


Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! was just awarded nearly $2.2 million to fund training for 49 employers in the region. The money comes from the Skilled Trades Training Fund, a state-funded program designed to help employers develop the talent they need to compete and grow.

Senator Ken Horn is part of the state legislature that, together with Governor Snyder, appropriated nearly $29 million for the Skilled Trades Training Fund in 2018. A champion of talent development, Horn (pictured here with Kristen Wenzel, COO, Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works!) serves as chair of the Economic Development and International Investment Committee and is also on the Governor’s Talent Investment Board.

Earlier this fall, business services representatives from Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! worked side-by-side with 54 employers to help them compete for a portion of that funding.

“This is the second year in a row we have successfully helped employers in five counties benefit from millions of dollars in training to enhance talent, productivity and retention,” says Ed Oberski, chief executive officer for Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works!

Although the name is “Skilled Trades Training Fund,” the scope of the training allowed is much broader, explains Ann Marie Batkoski. “Any company can apply for the grants and receive funds for training existing and new employees, as long as the training is for full-time employees and leads to a credential that is transferable and recognized by the industry.”

Employers awarded grant funds will use them for training in lean manufacturing, emergency medical technician (EMT) to paramedic training, as well as traditional skilled trades certification.

This year’s recipients include a wide range of employers who have built relationships with Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! for recruiting, hiring, and training services. Grants awarded range from $1,500 to $300,000:

Advanced Tex Screen Printing

AHB Tooling & Manufacturing

Amigo Mobility International

Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing

BGL Asset Services

Cambron Engineering


Dayco Products

Dow Chemical Company

Duperon Corporation

Erie Custom Signs

Falcon RME

The Cobbler Shop

Freeland Steel Erectors

Fullerton Tool Company

GE Insulation

General Agency Company

Hausbeck Pickle

Hemlock Semiconductor

Ingersoll CM Systems

International Engineering & Manufacturing

J&T Tool and Die

J.E. Johnson

Johnson Carbide Products

JRB Personnel

Kapex Manufacturing

Endurance Carbide

Means Industries

Merrill Technologies Group

Michigan Agricultural Commodities

Michigan Sugar Company

Miller Mold

Mistequay Group

Mobile Medical Response

Modern Machine

Morley Companies

Nexteer Automotive

Northern Concrete Pipe

Powell Fabrication & Mfg

R&S Cutter Grind

Renosol Corp

Rock Products


Sugar Construction

Tannas Company — a division of The Savant Group

The Delfield Company – a division of Welbilt

Three Rivers Corporation

U.S. Graphite

York Repair

If you are an employer interested in applying for 2019 funds, please contact Kristen Wenzel at If you work in human resources, please be sure to share this information with the owner of your company.

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