Reed City Group Uses Michigan Works Going Pro Talent Fund

Starting today, eligible businesses can apply for the Going Pro Talent Fund with Michigan Works West Central.

Employers in Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana and Osceola counties can apply for up to $1,500 per person in training funding assistance. Up to $3,000 per person is available for each new U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprentice. Additional funds for veterans, active military reservists, older workers, returning citizens and individuals with disabilities are available this year.

Training through the fund must be short-term and fill a need experienced by the employer.

Reed City Group is a molding company that has applied and won awards from Going Pro Talent Fund since 2018.

“We utilize this fund for several things,” says Tracie Ruppert, Human Resources for Reed City Group. “One being our apprenticeship program, so in 2018 we inducted three apprentices into the program and they actually just graduated this year.”

Matt Mund, Mike Booker and Glen Ryder have been training and working at the company for the past several years. All went to school and still live in Reed City.

The company has trained and hired 30-40 employees. But a shortage in trades and general labor workers, has made it difficult to hire skilled trades people.

“In the skilled trades portion, it’s very hard to find engineer CNC machinist mold makers,” says Ruppert.”It’s all types of skilled labor. We’ve actually started to even find shortages in our plastics area so yes it has definitely affected us.”

Still, the Michigan Works Going Pro Talent Fund gives employees a chance to learn on-the-job while getting paid. It also helps employers hire locally and retain employees.

“The more you invest in your employees the more they’re going to want to stay because it’s a win for both of us,” says Ruppert. “They learn knowledge and it’s not something that can be taken away from them.”