Monroe County Community College’s Corporate and Community Services Division has a long history of working with area employers, entrepreneurs, community organizations, workforce development agencies, governmental units and economic development professionals to stimulate growth in Monroe County and Southeast Michigan. Since 1964, the college has been the catalyst and recipient of millions of dollars in grant funds to support training and retraining programs and other economic development initiatives within Monroe County.
Many new and expanding businesses in the area turn to MCCC for help in training employees, recruiting potential employees, assessment of employee skills and training/retraining of new and existing workers. The college can help businesses develop a training plan and, if appropriate, prepare grant applications for funding under available state/federal programs.
The sources and availability of grant funds for employee training programs change constantly, but two key programs may be of interest to your organization – the Michigan New Jobs Training Program and the Incumbent Worker Training Program.
What is the Michigan New Jobs Training Program?
Public Acts 359 and 360 of 2008 created the Michigan New Jobs Training Program, which authorizes community colleges to issue debt on behalf of employers that are creating new jobs and/or expanding operations in Michigan for the purpose of funding job training. MNJTP provides funding to meet a variety of training and development needs. The assistance ranges from highly specialized and customized training to basic skill development for new jobs. The principal and interest payments on the debt are paid by capturing the incremental increase in the state income tax associated with the new employees’ wages and redirecting it to the college instead of the state. This program has the potential to be a cornerstone of Michigan’s workforce and economic development efforts, with the state's 28 community colleges collaboratively partnering with state and local economic development, the Michigan Works! agencies and the private sector to support job creation.
How does this program work?
Community colleges work with employers that are creating new jobs to identify training needs and calculate the needed financial support to fund training. Preliminary agreements are used to lock in the date from which new employees can be counted for the project and training expenses may be reimbursed. At this point, either the college or the employer can decide not to proceed. Final agreements need approval by the community college board of trustees. The community college then raises capital by either issuing debt in the form of bonds or loans or use the college’s reserves or operating funds to self-fund projects. The college administers the training funds and ensures that employer needs are met.
How is the debt repaid?
The debt is repaid by capturing the incremental increase in the state income tax associated with the new employee's wages and redirecting it to the college instead of the state. Funds available through the MNJTP are dependent upon training needs and projected withholding tax revenue available to repay the debt.
Employers pay the cost of training employees with dollars that would otherwise have been paid to the state for withholding taxes. The MNJTP allows employers to take a credit and send those dollars to the community colleges to retire the debt funding the training program. If an employer hires the number of new employees and pays the wages it certified to the college, the programs cost the employer nothing. However, should the employer not hire the number they certify, or leave Michigan before the debt is retired through normal withholding diversion, the employer would still be liable for meeting the terms of the contract (participating employers do assume the risk of repayment through a diversion of withholding taxes).
What type of training services can be funded using the MNJTP?
A wide range of training can be offered, from highly specialized/customized training to basic skills instruction.
The Incumbent Worker Training Program is funded by the Federal Workforce Investment Act and administered by Michigan Department of Career Development, Office of Workforce Development through the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance. The purpose of the program is to advance the goals of local workforce strategic plans by providing reimbursement grants to businesses to assist with skills upgrade training for currently employed full-time employees.
Applications for the Michigan Incumbent Worker Training Program are open to all businesses in Monroe County that meet the guidelines listed below.
- Must be willing to enter into a mutually beneficial partnership with the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance and Michigan Works Service Centers and educational institutions in a collaborative effort to upgrade skill levels that lead to increased productivity, improved labor market and economic advancement
- Must be a “for-profit” business and have been in operation in Michigan for a minimum of two years prior to the application date
- Must have at least ten full-time employees
- Must contribute to the state unemployment insurance system
- Must be current on all state tax obligations
Business that have recently made capital investments will be given priority.