$3.33 million grant will support Michigan workers whose jobs were eliminated by the pandemic

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has been awarded a $3.33 million Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to support the continued reopening of Michigan’s economy and to mitigate workforce disruptions related to the ongoing pandemic.

Approximately 30 percent of the grant funds will be used to employ temporary workers to assist with contact tracing, sanitizing, test-site facilitating and other jobs directly tied to the state’s COVID-19 relief and recovery effort. All temporary workers will receive additional employment services and, potentially, training to enable them to transition into full-time employment when the crisis ends.

Approximately half of the grant funds will be used to support those whose jobs have been permanently eliminated.

“Through this grant, we’ll be able to support the state’s pandemic relief efforts while directly supporting impacted workers,” LEO Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn said. “This funding will provide essential reemployment services such as assessment, career counseling, training and other supportive services to help our hard-working Michiganders get back to full-time employment in high-growth, high-demand industries.

“This will not only provide an opportunity for financial stability for these workers and their families, but it will also help fill the skills gap that challenges Michigan’s businesses and our state’s economy,” Beckhorn added.

Grant funding will also be used to improve the delivery of reemployment services through the Michigan workforce system. Technology upgrades will enhance the system’s ability to better serve participants, including improvements to virtual service delivery models, electronic registrations, website upgrades, virtual talent tours and equipment necessary to accommodate virtual learning.

The State of Michigan will contract with the 16 Michigan Works! Agencies to provide disaster-relief employment for an estimated 110 participants; employment and training activities to approximately 565 participants; and support where technology upgrades are needed in Michigan Works! regions.

“We’re proud of the important role we’ll play in helping these impacted workers – we believe we’re uniquely prepared to do that,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, director of Oakland County Michigan Works!. “At the same time, we’re thankful this grant will allow us to provide enhanced services to all Michiganders.”