By Sentinel staff

West Michigan Works! Has announced it has awarded 212 businesses in West Michigan with Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF) awards for 2018.

This coming year, West Michigan employers in Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon and Ottawa Counties will be awarded $8.4 million in training funds, which is an increase of 56 percent from last year’s total.

The funds are given through the state of Michigan’s Talent Investment Agency and are intended to help employers with short-term training for high-demand occupations.

“With today’s low unemployment rates, these funds are more critical than ever,” said Deb Lyzenga, regional director, business solutions for West Michigan Works!. “Employers will be able to increase production and employee retention by investing in the training and development of their existing workforce. For years we have been talking about the skills gap; this is one of the ways employers can address it head on.”

Read more on the Holland Sentinel website