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Labor and Economic Opportunity

First round of Marshall Plan for Talent grants help more than 150,000 students and their communities across Michigan

Nine talent consortia awarded a total of $15 million to improve state’s talent development and education excellence system

Monday, Dec. 17, 2018

Erica Quealy
517-582-2961 |

LANSING, Mich. – Closing the state’s talent gap takes partnership, innovation and investment, leaders from the state’s Talent and Economic Development Department and Department of Education said today when announcing the first round of Marshall Plan for Talent Innovation Grant awardees.

Nine talent consortia, representing 260 entities, were awarded a total of nearly $15 million in grants to start and grow innovative education models. This solidifies Michigan’s recent historic investment in its education and talent revolution. Leaders explained how this investment is just the beginning in helping transform Michigan’s ever-changing education model.

“The Marshall Plan for Talent is one of the great things we have going on in the state – it’s an investment in our young people and their futures,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “This plan is at the forefront of improving our education and talent development practices. It also ensures Michigan’s young people have an opportunity to earn a rewarding, high-demand, high-wage career, for the next five years and for decades to come.”

The awarded consortia represent a diverse group of businesses, K-12 districts, postsecondary education institutions and other entities, including 64 school districts – small and large – 90 businesses, 33 postsecondary institutions, 16 industry associations, 10 Michigan Works! agencies and 47 non-profit and other organizations. The funding benefits more than 150,000 students and their communities statewide.

“Michigan students win when we all come together to develop creative and innovative solutions to better prepare them for the future and lifelong learning,” Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan Chief of Staff Jeremy Hendges said. “Today’s awardees have truly innovative plans to reinvent our education system and state, and we’re excited to see them get to work in preparing all Michiganders for the high-demand, high-wage careers of today and tomorrow.”

Consortia shaped their applications around five key and high-demand, high-wage sectors: healthcare, information technology/computer science, manufacturing, Professional Trades and other business trades.

“The Marshall Plan is about building partnerships – it was a call for schools and businesses to innovate and rethink how we go about preparing our young people for the future,” Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles said. “Michigan overwhelmingly answered that call. Today, we celebrate their efforts that will make tomorrow brighter and ensure Michigan becomes a Top 10 education state.”

Of the $15 million in awards, $2.35 million will go to purchasing nearly 100 pieces of state-of-the-art equipment students can use to learn, with hands-on experience. Another $4.78 million will go toward hiring career navigators who will help students explore career options and pathways in Michigan while providing needed support to school counselors who are overwhelmed – each serving on average 729 students yearly. And $256,625 will go toward evolving some districts to a district-wide competency-based education model, while $7.56 million will help develop world-class curricula for each consortium.

Over the past eight years, the state has increased K-12 education funding by $2.1 billion, including significant investments in resources for career and technical education, middle college programs and equipment, and increased spending in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs to get students excited about opportunities in these fields of study.

“We saw a remarkable response in this first round,” Gov. Snyder said. “More than 771 entities partnered together to apply for these funds, requesting more than $80 million in funding. And while not all of them were awarded today, there are no losers. We know the innovation and partnerships will continue. And that’s why Michigan’s reinvention will continue.”

“The caliber of the applications far exceeded expectations – both in quantity and quality,” Hendges added. “I’m excited to see the collaborative efforts grow among those who won awards today and those who didn’t. As long we all keep innovating, we all keep winning.”

Leaders added they are eager to get round two kicked off in January and encouraged those who weren’t awarded today to revise their applications for consideration in the next round.

The next round in the process starts Wednesday, Jan. 16. Michigan’s Departments of Education and Talent and Economic Development will hold a webinar to address questions and help consortia prepare for a successful second round on Jan. 11.

Awarded consortia include:

Consortium name


Students benefitting across the state

Number of partners

AMA Talent Alliance (Alpena, Montmorency, Alcona)




Central Michigan Talent Consortium




Detroit Public Schools Community District




Detroit Robotics Consortium




Jackson County Career Readiness Talent Consortium




Macomb Classroom to Career Talent Consortium




Michigan's M-46 Talent Consortium




Middle Michigan Professional Trades Talent Consortium




Stockbridge High School InvenTeam TM





A more detailed description of the makeup of each consortium can be found here.