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Horn ‘skilled trades funding’ bill signed into law

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed into law a bill sponsored by Sen. Ken Horn that codifies the Going Pro Talent Program into state law.

“I have been advocating for skilled trades training since first becoming a state legislator,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “In my years in the House and now as chair of the Senate Economic Development and International Investment Committee, I’ve heard from countless employers who are struggling to find qualified workers.”

Michigan has had a skilled trades training program in place since 2014, and while the program has been very effective at creating jobs, it had no statutory authority and relied on annual approval in the state budget.

Senate Bill 946, now Public Act 260 of 2018, places the program in state statute while formally changing the name of the program to the Going Pro Talent Program.

The purpose of the program is to ultimately close the “talent gap” and strengthen Michigan’s workforce. The program does this by providing competitive awards, which are similar to grants, to qualified, in-state employers that are used for workforce training like talent enhancement and skill development, increasing worker productivity, management training and worker retention.

The Skilled Trades Training Fund, now the Going Pro Talent Program, has provided $72.9 million in competitive awards to more than 2,000 companies for training and apprenticeships since its beginning.

“It’s a highly successful program that gives workers additional skills to advance their careers,” Horn stated. “Our state is rooted in manufacturing and skilled trades and programs like this are working to put Michigan back on the map in terms of qualified employees.”

Michigan Manufacturing Association Senior Director of Government Affairs and Membership Delaney McKinley thanked Horn for his leadership role in getting this legislation signed into law.

“MMA would like to thank Senator Ken Horn for recognizing the importance of maintaining and growing this innovative program to build Michigan’s talent pool,” McKinley said. “His leadership on this bill is critical to ensuring that the Skilled Trades Training Fund will continue to generate public-private partnerships between employers and Michigan’s workforce development system to design training models that adapt in real time with changing employer demand.”

Horn went on to say that this measure shows people Michigan means business when it comes to getting people back to work.

“My colleagues and I are working hard to bring Michigan back. We’ve reached record low unemployment and families are starting to return to our state. This is one more step in the right direction”