West Michigan Benefits from Talent Development Funding

West Michigan Benefits from Talent Development Funding 1

Talent Attraction and Retention has been one of biggest issues for employers this year. The State of Michigan has been working to tackle this issue since 2014 with its GoingPRO Talent Fund. $40 million was awarded in 2022 and a record $55 million will be available in 2023 to help companies train and up-skill their workforce.

This program awards grants to employers to allow them to invest in their employees continuing education. Because employees are gaining certifications and skillsets using this program, they will be able to make more money throughout their working years, so this program not only benefits the employer, but also the employee.

Statewide Success in 2022

This year was a huge success for the GoingPRO Talent Fund, especially in West Michigan. 1,130 grants were awarded statewide, with 1,047 companies benefitting along with tens of thousands of employees. The average training cost in 2022 for each employee was over $1,300. With companies spending an average of about $1,200 nationwide in training for new employees, this fund is helps employers cover a critical expense as they work to overcome the talent and skills gaps. Since the program’s inception in 2014, over 5,000 awards have been granted statewide with average award amounts over $32,000.

West Michigan’s Success

Our region benefited significantly from the GoingPRO Talent Fund. 33% of all grants for the 2022 application period were awarded through West Michigan Works! to organizations based in our region for a total of $13.2M. These awards benefit employees at large, medium and small employers. Statewide from 2014-2022, more than 60% of awards went to businesses with less than 100 employees, providing a key investment to small businesses. Additionally, 30% of awards went to medium sized employers, and 9% were awarded to companies with 500 or more employees.

“It’s great to see this money being invested in the people and companies in the community,” said Nate Henschel, Director of Government Affairs at the Grand Rapids Chamber. “This is going to help West Michigan meet the need for top talent. If you are looking to upskill or train new or existing employees, this is a program for you.”

Get Involved

If you’re looking to upscale your workforce, two Grand Rapids Chamber Leadership Courses qualify for program:  

Leadership Transformed: This program trains participants to step up their leadership skills at their organization 

LeadUp: Guides first-time managers through the concepts, principles and best practices to successfully lead and manage others. 

Applications Coming Spring 2023

The fall application period has closed, but a second application round will be announced soon for the Spring of 2023. Click HERE to learn more or email West Michigan Works! at to get connected.

Interested in learning more about how you can get involved with the GoingPRO? Check out our recent podcast about the fund, or contact Nate Henschel, Director of Government Affairs at


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