MARQUETTE, Mich., July 20, 2023 – Thanks to the most recent round of Going PRO Talent Fund grants, four businesses in Gwinn and Marquette will receive over $200,000 in funding to help more than 100 local workers receive the training they need to gain and retain high-skill, high-wage careers.

Statewide, about $13.5 million in grants from the second cycle of fiscal year 2023 Going PRO Talent Fund were awarded to nearly 300 Michigan businesses to help roughly 8,500 workers secure employment, industry-recognized credentials and strong wages.

“The Going PRO Talent Fund is an investment in our state’s greatest asset — our people — helping them develop the skills they need to advance their careers and build a better life in Michigan,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “These grants help us put Michiganders first, ensuring paths to good-paying jobs and empowering Michigan businesses to develop the talent they need to compete in the global economy. Let’s keep connecting hardworking Michiganders with the training they need to Make it in Michigan.”

In Gwinn and Marquette, the Talent Fund helps local businesses secure the in-demand, high-skill talent they need to grow, while giving local workers a clear path to high-wage careers that offer a better quality of life for themselves and their families.

“This funding will expand economic opportunity and help us address critical worker shortages in the U.P.,” said state Rep. Jenn Hill (D-Marquette). “A total of 60 health care workers will receive the training they need to better serve our communities, thanks to this investment in the U.P.’s labor force. These investments are a win for workers, businesses and community members alike.”

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity makes Going PRO Talent Fund awards to employers through Michigan Works! Agencies (MWAs), including Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! Participating employers play an integral role in defining their key training needs, then work with their local MWAs and other partners to develop strategic training plans.

Since the program’s launch in 2014, more than 6,000 Michigan businesses have received Going PRO Talent Fund awards to train 175,000 new and existing workers. Since the program’s inception, worker wages have increased an average of 9% following training completion. 

“The Going PRO Talent Fund is arguably the best talent development program the State of Michigan has to offer,” said David Worthams, director of employment policy for the Michigan Manufacturers Association. “As we get into the next cycle of grants, employers and their employees will see huge strides in new skills that we need as we move into the future of manufacturing in the state. This is another reason why Michigan is one of the best states to do business in.”

By establishing a preference for employer-provided training that results in a worker receiving an industry-recognized credential or college credit, the Going PRO Talent Fund aligns with Gov. Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60% by 2030. 

To view a full list of grant recipients for the 2023 fiscal year and learn more about the Going PRO Talent Fund and its application cycles, visit