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West Michigan Works! Announces 222 West Michigan Businesses Will Receive a Combined $15.8 Million in Going Pro Talent Fund Awards

West Michigan Works! Announces 222 West Michigan Businesses Will Receive a Combined $15.8 Million in Going Pro Talent Fund Awards

West Michigan Works! announced 222 West Michigan businesses will receive a combined $15.8 million in Going PRO Talent Fund awards to help train, develop and retain more than 3,400 current workers, apprentices and newly hired employees. 16 additional businesses have awards that are currently pending.

"The Going PRO Talent Fund is instrumental in supporting Michigan's businesses, providing them with a key resource to attract, retain and enhance the skills of their workforce. This initiative is essential in today's rapidly changing business landscape," said Angie Barksdale, chief operating officer, West Michigan Works!. "By enabling companies to invest in targeted training, we're helping them stay competitive and responsive to industry demands, which in turn contributes to our state's overall economic health and growth."

Of the 1,133 applications statewide, employers within the West Michigan Works! seven-county region submitted 352 applications, representing 31% of the state total. The approved 222 applications amounted to 34.7% share of funds statewide.

Funding from 2024 featured a slight shift in industry focus, with an increase in awards to IT companies and a decrease in awards for manufacturing.

In addition to substantial support for businesses, the effect of the Going PRO Talent Fund extends to the individual level, enhancing the career prospects and earning potential of thousands of West Michigan employees.

"The Going PRO Talent Fund directly impacts the lives of individuals by offering them opportunities for skill development in high-demand, well-paying jobs," Barksdale said. "This investment goes beyond meeting workforce demands by empowering people with the training and qualifications needed for career progression and higher earnings."

Applications for Cycle 2 of the Going PRO Talent Fund will open in the spring of 2024. For more information about the Going Pro Talent Fund and its requirements, visit:

About West Michigan Works! 

West Michigan Works! provides a network of employment and training programs and services for employers, employees, and job seekers in Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon and Ottawa Counties. For more information, visit

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