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LANSING – High-caliber innovation and partnerships continue to soar as business and education leaders come together to revolutionize curriculum and support services that will address the state’s talent gap, officials from the state’s Talent and Economic Development Department and Department of Education said as they announced the latest Marshall Plan for Talent Innovation Grant awardees.
Thirteen talent consortia, representing 500 entities, were awarded a total of nearly $14 million in grants to start and grow innovative education models.
“We all win when we come together to develop solutions to set students on a path for success and invest in their futures,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “These investments help improve our education system and enhance talent development pipelines that we need to prepare Michiganders for the high-demand, high-wage careers of today and tomorrow.”
Of the nearly $14 million in awards, $6.89 million will go to purchasing state-of-the-art equipment students can use to learn with hands-on techniques. Another $6.14 million will help develop world-class curricula for each consortium, and an additional $150,000 going toward evolving some districts to a competency-based education model. Finally, $465,385 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.
“The Marshall Plan for Talent set the stage for Michigan to bring businesses and education together and lay the foundation for a new model that will help students explore in-demand careers and ultimately address the skills gap in Michigan,” Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan Acting Director Stephanie Beckhorn said. “We look forward to ongoing partnerships with these consortium members as we continue to build on these efforts and make sure students are equipped with successful pathways to post-secondary education and training.”
The awarded consortia represent a diverse group of businesses, K-12 districts, post-secondary education institutions and other entities, including 155 school districts – small and large – 136 businesses, 56 post-secondary institutions, 41 industry associations, 19 Michigan Works! agencies and 92 non-profit and other organizations. The funding benefits more than 220,000 students and their communities statewide.
“The Marshall Plan promotes the building of partnerships – a strategy 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. “Communities across Michigan see the importance of connecting education directly with job providers. Today, we celebrate their efforts that will make tomorrow brighter and ensure Michigan becomes a Top 10 education state.”
Consortia shaped their applications around five key high-demand, high-wage sectors: healthcare, information technology/computer science, manufacturing, Professional Trades and other business trades.
Awarded consortia include: