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Sunset Pulled from Jobs Training Program Under Bill

September 29, 2014

A jobs creation program pairing community colleges with nearby businesses would be clear to exist past 2018 under legislation that moved through the Senate Education Committee Wednesday. 

SB 1074, sponsored by Mark JANSEN(R-Gaines Twp.), builds on the Michigan New Jobs Training Program, which started in 2008 as a way to give workers skilled training using community colleges. 

Participating community colleges sell bonds to fund the training, which is in turn repaid through withholding payments to the Department of Treasury for each employee in a new job. 

Jansen’s bill removes a 2018 sunset from the initial legislation creating the program and also modifies the wording of a requirement that businesses provide jobs that pay at least 175 percent of the minimum wage to grandfather in businesses currently involved in the program. 

Another change does away with a $50 million investment cap on the program, allowing colleges and businesses to invest as much or as little as they would like into the partnership. 

Several companies and their partnering colleges testified before the committee today to express their support, calling the program a way to better connect their employees with education and give them an incentive to keep learning and improving in the workplace. 

“The program has really helped us out to land, track talent and maintain talent,” said Jonathan STONE, chief information officer of Rochester Hills-based commercial vehicle manufacturing company Wabco North America. “It’s a really good partnership . . . Employees feel like we’re investing in them.” 

Jansen’s bill was unanimously recommended to the Senate floor. 

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