The Michigan Talent and Economic Development Department and Department of Education announced the latest Marshall Plan for Talent Innovation Grant awardees, giving nearly $14 million to 13 talent consortia that represent 500 entities to start and grow innovative education models. The models are intended to address Michigan’s talent gap.
“We all win when we come together to develop solutions to set students on a path for success and invest in their futures,” says Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “These investments help improve our education system and enhance talent development pipelines that we need to prepare Michiganders for the high-demand, high-wage careers of today and tomorrow.”
About $6.89 million will go to purchasing equipment so students can learn hands-on, $6.14 million will help develop curricula for each consortium, $150,000 will go toward evolving some districts to a competency-based education model, and $465,385 will be used to hire career navigators who will help students explore career options and pathways in Michigan while providing support to school counselors, who each serve an average of 729 students each year.
“The Marshall Plan for Talent set the stage for Michigan to bring businesses and education together and lay the foundation for a new model that will help students explore in-demand careers and ultimately address the skills gap in Michigan,” says Stephanie Beckhorn, acting director of the Talent and Economic Development Department. “We look forward to ongoing partnerships with these consortium members as we continue to build on these efforts and make sure students are equipped with successful pathways to post-secondary education and training.”
The awarded consortia represented a diverse group of organizations, including 155 districts, 136 businesses, 56 post-secondary institutions, 41 industry associations, 19 Michigan Works! agencies, and 92 nonprofit and other organizations. The funding is expected to benefit more than 220,000 students statewide.
Consortia shaped their applications around five high-demand, high-wage sectors: health care, information technology/computer science, manufacturing, professional trades, and other business trades.
The CBH Consortium Construction Technology Program, a consortium of 36 partners in Oakland County, was awarded $713,018 and will serve 13,146 students. The Geospatial Technologies Talent Consortium, which includes 30 partners and serves Wayne, Monroe, and Northern Michigan, was awarded $988,707 and is expected to serve 12,466 students. The OU Pontiac Workforce Education Initiative in Oakland County was awarded $150,000, includes 29 partners, and is expected to serve 4,151 students.
“The Marshall Plan promotes the building of partnerships – a strategy for schools and businesses to innovate and rethink how we go about preparing our young people for the future,” says Sheila Alles, interim state superintendent. “Communities across Michigan see the importance of connecting education directly with job providers. Today, we celebrate their efforts that will make tomorrow brighter and ensure Michigan becomes a Top 10 education state.”