$700K in Grants Awarded to Oakland County Companies for Skills Training

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WATERFORD — Thirteen Oakland County companies received nearly $700,000 from the state’s Skilled Trades Training Fund, enabling them to hire approximately 1,300 new employees while upgrading the skills of more than 700 current employees.

The funds will be used to train current employees in occupations such as software programming support, electrical vehicle development, computer-aided design, welding, and robot operations.

The companies in turn agreed to contribute nearly $3 million in matching job training funds to help prepare their workforces. Coupled with funds received in 2013 from the state, Oakland County employers received more than $1.1 million to retrain their existing workforce and hire new employees.

“The program provides a fantastic opportunity to help our employees advance and add to our growth,” says Juli Elkins of GableTEK, a Troy-based engineering and robotics firm that received about $23,000 in training funds.

Magna International, a Canada-based Tier 1 auto supplier whose American headquarters is in Troy, was the largest benefactor of the training funds, receiving more than $293,000. German Tier 1 supplier Brose, with operations in Auburn Hills, was next in line at more than $112,000 in funding.

Employers must apply for the state funds through Michigan Works!, a workforce development association.

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