Granholm Signs Bills Expanding Job Training for Michigan Workers

Contact: Megan Brown 517-335-6397

December 23, 2008

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed new legislation that will expand job training opportunities in high demand fields for Michigan workers.  The bills will make Michigan's community colleges stronger partners in the state's economic development efforts by allowing them to tailor job training to meet the needs of employers in their regions.

"We must do everything we can to help our citizens get the training they need for good-paying jobs in this challenging global economy," Granholm said.  "These bills are another part of our plan to ensure that we have a strong workforce that can compete and win in the 21st century."

The two bill package - signed by Granholm today - will allow a community college to enter into an agreement with an employer to provide training for new jobs.  The job training costs will be paid to the community college from income taxes withheld by employers on the new jobs created; in the same manner the income tax withholding would be paid to the Department of Treasury.

PA 360 (HB 6185) was sponsored by State Representative Richard Hammel (D-Mt. Morris Township); PA 359 (SB 1342), was sponsored by State Senator Mark Jansen (R-Gaines Township). 

"I applaud Senator Mark Jansen and Representative Richard Hammel for their tremendous leadership and vision on this important issue," Granholm said.  "Expanded training for workers is an essential part of our plan to grow Michigan's economy and create good-paying jobs."

In 2007, Governor Granholm unveiled her No Worker Left Behind plan, to help more than 100,000 displaced workers receive training for new jobs over the next three years.  The program provides up to two years free tuition for displaced workers at any Michigan community college or other approved training program to receive needed training in high demand skills.  In its first 16 months of operation, the program has helped more than 50,000 workers prepare for new careers by enrolling in training.

Granholm also recently announced a new feature on the state website that connects citizens with information on available jobs in their area.  The feature - www.michigan.gov/jobs- provides job seekers with vital career information and is part of the governor's continued efforts to stand up for Michigan workers.

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