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

Going Pro Talent Funds Bridge Skills Gaps for New AND Existing Employees

Mistequay Check Giveaway
Mistequay Check Giveaway

Going Pro Talent Funds Bridge Skills Gaps for New AND Existing Employees

Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! was recently awarded nearly $1.8 million to fund training for 52 employers in the region.

The money comes from the Going Pro Talent Fund (formerly known as the “Skilled Trades Training Fund”), a state-funded program championed by Senator Ken Horn designed to help employers develop the talent they need to compete and grow. The scope of training allowed is broad as long as it is for full-time employees and leads to a credential that is transferable and recognized by other industries.

Business services representatives from Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! worked side-by-side with 76 employers to help them compete for a portion of $31 million in funding available for 2019. Statewide, 1209 employers submitted grant applications asking for $70 million.

“This is the third 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 Chris Rishko, chief executive officer for Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works!

Employers awarded grant funds will use them for a variety of training opportunities, including lean manufacturing, inventory management,  accounting/tax software, skilled trades certification and much more.

“Our employees feel like we invested in them,” says Kelli Schmidt, Mistequay Group, which received more than $80,000 for training its staff in 2018. “This is because Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! invested in us.”

Nexteer’s Julie Malesky echoes that sentiment. “Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! is a huge asset to our region,” she says, “working with them to compete for training funds further enhances our successful relationship because it deepens their understanding of our business challenges.”

Congratulations to this year’s Going Pro Talent Fund recipients from Saginaw, Midland, Bay, Gratiot and Isabella counties who were awarded grants:

Water and Woods Field Service Council, Boy Scouts of America

Advanced Tex Screen Printing, Inc

BGT Aerospace LLC

Cambron Engineering Inc

Die Stampco Inc

ESCON Group, Inc

J & T Tool & Die, Inc

Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation

Michigan Sugar Company

Modern Machine

Universal Printing

York Repair


Amigo Mobility International Inc

B & J Tool Services

Eagle Machining

Aircraft Precision Products, Inc

Town & Country Group

Quality Air Service, Inc

Alloy Construcion Service, Inc

CareBuilders at Home

Case Systems, Inc

Freeland Steel Erectors, Inc

Ingersoll CM Systems, LLC

J.E. Johnson, Inc Mechanical Contractors

Magnum Construction Company

Sugar Construction

Tannas Company a division of the Savant Group

Three Rivers Corporation

Isabella Bank

J. Ranck Electric

Mr. Chips, Inc

AHB Tooling & Machinery, Inc

Cech Corporation

Duperon Corporation

Endurance Carbide

Fullerton Tool Company, Inc

Hausbeck Pickle Co


Kapex Manufacturing

Mahar Tool Supply

Miller Mold Co

Nexteer Automotive

Pumford Construction, Inc

R&S Cutter Grind

Rock Redi-Mix

Saginaw Products dba Cignys

Sargent Docks & Terminal, Inc

Turn One, Inc

U.S. Graphite, Inc

UMBRAGROUP, Thomson Aerospace & Defense dba Linear Motion LLC

GE Insulation Co

If your business or organization is interested in pursuing a competitive grant for Going Pro Talent Funds, contact Kristen Wenzel at or talk to your business services team representative.

Pictured above: Joe Kaczmarek, Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! business services team representative (third from left) presents Going Pro Talent Funds to (from left) Mistequay’s Michelle Mumby, HR assistant, Kelli Schmidt, HR director, and Gary Steele, chief financial officer.

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