Proos supports expanding successful jobs training program

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING—Sen. John Proos recently voted for Senate legislation that would expand a successful statewide initiative in which our state’s community colleges provide training for new jobs and graduates receive a competitive wage when they enter the workforce.

“Michigan’s economy is growing and creating jobs, yet thousands of these new jobs throughout the state and in Southwest Michigan remain unfilled because employers cannot find enough workers with the necessary skills,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I strongly supported expanding the Michigan New Jobs Training Program, which has a proven record of helping meet the increased need for skilled workers in a growing economy.”

The Michigan New Jobs Training Program (MNJTP) lets community colleges statewide create a training pool through flexible financing mechanisms to support employers who are creating jobs or expanding operations in Michigan.

Senate Bills 69-71 would remove certain technical restrictions to allow the program to grow.

“The program helps job providers collaborate with community colleges to create jobs and train workers for those jobs,” Proos said. “Since its inception in 2008, it has produced nearly 12,000 new jobs. Going forward, the program is projected to annually generate more than $140 million in additional earnings and more than 4,700 jobs.

“By removing arbitrary restrictions, we can empower local communities to maximize the benefits of this program for area workers.”

The program generated more than $76 million in additional earnings and 2,266 new jobs in 2012 alone, according to a report issued in 2013 by the Anderson Economic Group, an independent economic research firm.

Under the program, training for newly hired workers is paid for by capturing the state income tax associated with the new employees’ wages and redirecting it to a local college, instead of to the state. The new jobs must pay at least 175 percent of the state minimum wage.

SBs 69-71 have been sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration.