State offers $59 million in grants for pioneering education solutions to close talent gap

State offers $59 million in grants for pioneering education solutions to close talent gap
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It’s no secret. There is a talent gap in Michigan and it must be closed for the state and its residents to be successful.

Local business and education leaders with pioneering solutions to bridge the gap can get help to implement the programs thanks to $59 million in Marshall Plan for Talent innovation grants. The grants include funding for new and expanded world-class curricula, certification programs based on competency, professional equipment, moving to a competency-based education model and career navigators.

The goal of the Marshall Plan for Talent is to revolutionize the state’s education and talent development system and create a system that better prepares students for the careers of today and the future.

It’s time to change the system, Roger Curtis, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development told TheHUB Detroit in recent story. “We need to rethink education. We are looking at competency-based assessments, not standardized testing,”

In competency-based education students move on when they have learned the knowledge and skills they are expected to have at that level.

The goal is to revolutionize the state’s education and talent development system and create a system that better prepares students for the careers of today and the future. By 2024 there will be 811,000 jobs that will need filling, as well as the 100,000 open now.

The application process is now open.

Submissions portal for concept summaries will close Sept. 19. Submissions can be made at www.michigan.gov/marshallplan.

The Marshall Plan for Talent innovation grants are a three-step submission process, which includes:

  • Step one: concept summary – This summary includes an outline of the talent need and briefly describes the goals, objectives and outcomes of programs developed using the funds. Submission period is Sept. 5 through Sept. 19
  • Step two: talent agreement – This agreement describes the partnership between members of the talent consortium. It also includes identifying the high-demand, high-wage fields that students will be prepared in. Submission period is Oct. 9 through Oct. 23.
  • Step three: grant application – Once the concept summary and talent agreement have been approved, the talent consortium may then complete and submit the grant application for the first round of funding. Submission period is Nov. 13 through Nov. 26.

“We are excited to see the statewide efforts progress and to get the Marshall Plan for Talent funds out to schools,” Curtis says.

“We want to make sure funds get to those employers and educators that have developed creative and impactful solutions to better prepare our learners for the high-wage, high-demand jobs available through 2024.”

The streamlined grant process allows awards to be made in December 2018.

The grants are critical to ensuring Michigan can become a top 10 state in 10 years and they come with a sense of urgency, says Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles.

“Michigan cannot wait on the sidelines and this funding will provide the state’s most innovative schools – large and small – an opportunity to start and expand programs that will help transform our education landscape,” she says.

There will be additional rounds of the application process in 2019 for those talent consortia that need additional time to prepare successful and innovative solutions to closing the state’s talent gap.

The Marshall Plan for Talent  received bi-partisan support from the legislature and was signed into law in June by Gov. Rick Snyder.

To learn more and apply, visit www.michigan.gov/marshallplan.

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