Economic Development, Government, and Human Resources

West Michigan employers win $5M for workforce training

December 7, 2016
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West Michigan Works! employer and students
West Michigan Works! is a workforce development agency that works to "create a pool of qualified talent" for the region's employers. Photo via

The state has awarded $5 million total to more than 120 employers in West Michigan for workforce training programs.

Michigan awarded the funds as part of its Skilled Trades Training Fund, or STTF, initiative for use by employers in the West Michigan Works! region in 2017.

The grants, totaling $5,092,812 in the region, were mainly awarded to manufacturing, technology, health care and construction sectors, with the largest grant in West Michigan going to Walker-based manufacturer Plasan Carbon Composites, at $164,145.

Deb Lyzenga, business services manager for West Michigan Works!, said West Michigan was the region that received the most funding out of all 10 regions in Michigan.

“I’ve been asked, ‘What is your secret sauce?’” she said. “I think what’s going on is we have a close-knit community of employers that work with us. We have consortiums of employers that work together across industry sectors. That’s one piece. And I have an incredible staff. They’re so committed to the employers.”

Lyzenga said the STTF grants will help fund apprenticeships and training for current workers and new hires.

“The most popular training we’re seeing…is the companies are upgrading their software systems — Linux, Cisco, etc. — and then there’s training for the workers to learn how to use these systems,” she said.

Skilled Trades Training Fund

The state’s Skilled Trades Training Fund began in 2013 and is on target to train more than 30,000 workers. STTF provides funds to companies for short term, in-demand training. Companies of all sizes have benefited from STTF, anywhere from three employees to more than 1,000. While the STTF has supported creation of more than 400 new apprentices, training is not limited to skilled-trade occupations. It has included robotics, IT training, electronic health records training and on-the-job training for workers to be hired.

126 employers receiving grants

D+M Metal Products, Comstock Park: $29,304

Dynamic Conveyor, Muskegon: $4,082

Walker Tool & Die Inc., Grand Rapids: $15,000

Eikenhout Inc., Grand Rapids: $12,000

Bay Valley Foods LLC, Wayland: $24,573

Eclipse Tool & Die Inc., Wayland: $16,500

Code Blue Corporation, Holland: $44,926

Wiesen Inc., Belding: $4,950

Cascade Die Casting Group - Mid State, Grand Rapids: $10,495

Cascade Die Casting Group - Great Lakes, Sparta: $17,790

Multi-Lab, Spring Lake: $15,200

Worksighted, Holland: $27,000

Open Systems Technologies DE LLC, Grand Rapids: $44,301

Precision Aerospace Corp., Grand Rapids: $56,770

Composite Builders, Holland: $2,931

Country Fresh, Grand Rapids: $39,273

Metron Integrated Health Systems - Belding: $6,500

Metron Integrated Health Systems - Big Rapids: $7,500

Metron Integrated Health Systems - Cedar Springs, Cedar Springs: $6,753

Metron Integrated Health Systems - Forest Hills, Grand Rapids: $6,850

Metron Integrated Health Systems - Greenville: $6,500

Metron Integrated Health System - Lamont, Lamont: $7,500

Shorescape Investments LLC, Grand Haven: $4,320

Parker Hannifin Corporation, Otsego: $12,000

Parker Hannifin Corporation, Richland: $18,000

Conical Tool, Grand Rapids: $17,000

Perrigo Company – Allegan, Allegan: $153,016

SEKISUI SPI, Holland: $9,000

Magna Mirrors of America Inc. dba Engineered Glass, Holland Township: $92,870

Elevator Up LLC, Grand Rapids: $13,500

SoundOff Signal, Hudsonville: $146,750.00

Wilkast Inc., Grand Rapids: $45,000

Ely Manor, Allegan: $21,320

Williams Tooling & Manufacturing Inc., Dorr: $13,500

Active Manufacturing Corp., Spring Lake: $9,000

Parkway Electric & Communications LLC, Holland: $52,650

Challenge Manufacturing - Walker location, Walker: $84,000

Scherdel Sales & Technology, Muskegon: $100,481

NVINT Services LLC, Caledonia: $9,000

Royal Technologies, Hudsonville: $90,000

Buist Electric, Byron Center: $87,775

Autodie LLC, Grand Rapids: $61,680

Altron Automation, Hudsonville: $43,045

Carter Manufacturing Co. Inc, Grand Haven: $27,375

Greenville Tool & Die Co., Greenville: $39,000

Lauren Manufacturing, Spring Lake: $21,600

Koops Inc., Holland: $19,990

Stampede Die and Engineering (Stampede Die Corp.), Wayland: $23,775

Trans-Matic Manufacturing Co., Holland: $34,500

Jireh Metal Products Inc., Grandville: $22,551

Best Metal Products, Grand Rapids: $58,050

WPI LLC, Spring Lake: $12,998

Magna Mirrors (Holland), Holland: $104,732

Benteler Automotive Aluminum, Holland: $89,294

Kenona Industries Inc., Grand Rapids: $38,058

CUP Acquisition LLC dba Custom Profile, Grand Rapids: $87,000

American Seating Co., Grand Rapids: $44,400

Driesenga & Associates, Holland: $26,763

MFP Automation Engineering, Hudsonville: $16,283

Die Cad Group Inc., Grand Rapids: $24,520

Uniform Color Co., Holland: $13,276

MasterTag, Montague: $91,375

Emerald Corp., Grand Rapids: $29,040

Lumbermen's Inc., Grand Rapids: $43,958

Century Foundry Inc., Muskegon Heights: $5,640

CQL Inc., Grand Rapids: $30,980

Plasan Carbon Composites, Walker: $164,145

Swoboda Inc., Kentwood: $31,650

L-3 Combat Propulsion Systems, Muskegon: $72,375

ITW Powertrain Metals (ITW Drawform), Zeeland: $58,878

H.S. Die & Engineering Inc., Grand Rapids: $10,000

Oliver Packaging and Equipment Co., Walker: $31,500

Butterball Farms Inc., Grand Rapids: $85,635

Commercial Tool and Die, Comstock Park: $29,100

Action Mold and Machining Inc., Grand Rapids: $27,000

Star Crane & Hoist Inc., Allendale: $24,450

Michigan Turkey Producers Inc., Grand Rapids: $10,896

Van Haren Electric, Byron Center: $11,500

Williams Distributing Co., Grand Rapids: $18,120

Ropes Courses Inc., Allegan: $12,650

Haworth Inc., Holland: $39,000

Baumann Tool and Die, Zeeland: $4,250

Howmet Corp. (also known as Alcoa Howmet), Whitehall: $127,683

Johnson Technology, Muskegon: $120,000

Anderson Global Inc., Muskegon Heights: $99,672

MPF Acquisitions Inc., Martin: $15,280

Windenmuller Electric Inc., Wayland: $68,265

Specialty Tooling Systems, Grand Rapids: $14,500

Cresco Solutions Inc., Grand Rapids: $9,000

Rapid Tooling Systems Inc., Grand Rapids: $6,000

Steel Craft Technologies, Plainfield Township: $27,000

Engineered Tooling Systems Inc., Grand Rapids: $15,000

West Thomas Partners LLC (Gluten Free Bar), Grand Rapids: $30,595

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, Holland: $90,966

Gill Industries, Plainfield Facility, Grand Rapids: $126,075

Gill Industries, Bond Facility, Grand Rapids: $123,000

SoundTech Inc., Grand Rapids: $36,781

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Grand Rapids: $71,181

Federal Mogul, Greenville: $30,530

Autocam Precision Components Group, Kentwood: $89,316

Herman Miller, Zeeland: $27,476

Transfer Tool Products, Grand Haven: $7,500

GNS America, Holland: $29,630

Hearthside Food Solutions LLC (H1), Kentwood: $39,023

Hearthside Food Solutions LLC (H2), Grand Rapids: $22,500

Concept Molds, Schoolcraft: $4,500

DHE Plumbing and Mechanical, Hudsonville: $39,000

Micron Manufacturing Co., Walker: $12,000

Meridian Inc., Spring Lake: $33,198

Mark-Maker Co., Wyoming: $16,500

Competition Engineering, Marne: $4,500

West Michigan International, Wyoming: $24,000

K & R Truck Sales Inc., Holland: $13,500

ArtiFlex Manufacturing, Grand Rapids: $36,000

Rest Haven Homes Inc., Grand Rapids: $8,800

Coastal Automotive, Holland: $30,000

Health Net of West Michigan, Grand Rapids: $1,460

Spectrum Health - Apprentices/NewHires/CHW, Grand Rapids: $95,760

Mercy Health, Grand Rapids: $30,000

Mercy Health Partners, Muskegon: $81,000

Cherry Street Services Inc. Cherry Health, Grand Rapids: $143,240

DeWys Manufacturing, Marne: $18,446

Fleet Engineers, Muskegon: $ 97,770

NPR of America Inc., West Olive: $117,000

Disher Corp., Zeeland: $24,398

Motion Dynamics Corp., Fruitport: $7,855

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