Chamber Blog

Fighting for West Michigan Talent in Lansing

Talent is a top issue for Chamber members and businesses across West Michigan are benefitting from the Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF).

SSTF awards have helped Chamber companies, across diverse sectors, train, develop and retain employees. This year it will serve 7,063 employees in our area.

The fund is directly increasing the competitiveness of Michigan’s businesses while enhancing our talent pool. The program works in real time and follows current employer demand for the skillsets required.

Last, week Chamber staff testified in support of Senate Bill 946 to strengthen the Skilled Trades Training Fund and rename it the Going Pro Talent Program.

Under the legislation, the Going Pro Talent Program would have more flexibility in the training period. Additionally, the bill expands language and includes leadership and management training to be covered under this program as well.

Don’t just take the Chamber’s word for it, here is what your fellow members are saying:

Matt Kahle, President of Real IT Solutions, said “we were thrilled to be able to take advantage of the State’s Skilled Trades Training Fund this year. We leveraged the training to attract and retain key employees, as well as bridge some internal skill gaps. We hope to be able to continue to reinvest in our employees using this fund in the years to come”.

Amanda Williams, Director of Human Resources for Williams Distributing/Kitchen & Bath, said of the STTF “through this grant, we have successfully expanded our talent pool when recruiting for hard to fill positions. It allowed us to hire people without all the skills required for a job because we had assistance to offset their training costs. We have added some great new people on our team due to being a recipient of the STTF grant.”

Being your business’s advocate, the Grand Rapids Chamber’s Government Affairs team is working to ensure the passage of SB 946 and other efforts to ensure our business community has the talent to compete in Michigan and nationwide.

Questions or want to learn more about the SSTF? Contact Alexa Malesky at 616.771.0311.

Anna Young Administrator
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