Providing resources for communities and entrepreneurs to create and retain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan & Emmet Counties.

How the STTF Grant Awards Impact Northern Michigan

By Buck Love, Business Retention and Growth

In a world full of acronyms, these 4 letters will have a significant impact on our four-county region for 2018. In this fifth year of the Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF) grant awards, employers in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Cheboygan counties saw an increase of 9 grant awards for 20 companies to receive over $486,000 in training dollars. This will train 451 existing workers plus 72 proposed new hires in a variety of technical, manufacturing production, software and LEAN process skills. This is an increase of over $40,000 that will help cover training costs for 207 more employees than the previous year.

Training is customized to meet employee skill requirements and is short-term in duration—preferably less than three months—with no training extending more than six months.

Each of the 20 awarded companies will be able to boast workplace success through these training dollars. Here is just one of them for Wojan Window and Door located in Charlevoix.

According to HR Manager, Jill Harrell, this is the second time in 5 years, Wojan has won an award and the timing couldn’t have been better as the company is preparing for an approximately 11,000 square foot expansion of its plant in Charlevoix by spring of 2018. This will allow them space to implement new LEAN process training to improve work flow and materials handling for their customized window and door production team.

The STTF training dollars will offset costs to train over 39 incumbent workers in LEAN office and production methods that will allow them to work more efficiently to “do more with less people” as the labor shortage continues to impact all employers throughout the region. It will also open up the possibility to hire—at minimum—6 new workers, with the potential to hire up to 15 or 20 more adding a second shift. Jill states they are accepting applications at their website http://www.wojan.com/careers.

As with all companies receiving STTF grant awards: more training equals better employees, improved quality and efficiency, more opportunity for new hiring, and ultimately greater profitability.

Want to apply for STTF dollars? Applications are available through your local Michigan Works Business Liaison / Business Service Professional. To start the Application process, please review the resources at the WDA website

Then contact your Northwest Michigan Works Business Liaison for employers in Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet Counties or your Michigan Works Northeast Consortium Business Services Professional for Cheboygan County employers.

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