WIN Southeast Michigan Partners Awarded $6 million Training Grant for Robotics and Automation Workforce

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration today announced a $6 million, 5-year grant to train 900 southeast Michigan workers in robotics and automation careers through the Advance Michigan Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (AM-RAMTEC). The funding aligns with southeast Michigan’s White House designation as an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) area, which prioritizes a 16-county region encompassing greater Detroit for federal investment from 17 federal departments and agencies.

AM-RAMTEC’s goal is to utilize funding to help increase the number of unemployed and underemployed, non-traditional, incumbent, and other workers receiving CERT (Certified Education Robotic Training) in the region. The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN), which convened the initiative, will manage AM-RAMTEC as part of a suite of efforts to align talent with employer and economic development needs in the 16-county area. The Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA) will serve as the grant fiduciary.

“As the economy recovers, talent is becoming increasingly hard to find,” noted Lisa Katz, executive director, WIN. “These funds will help us dig deeper to support workers who might otherwise be left out of the economic recovery and connect them to a field that is in high demand, offers strong wages and opportunities for advancement.”

According to WIN, over the past decade, the region has recovered 11,614 robotics and automation jobs, increasing employment by 44.7 percent to 37,622 workers. Projections indicate an additional 1,500 net new jobs by 2026 with approximately 1,535 individuals needed every year to fill posts opened by turnover and retirements. Wages in this sector have increased by 30 percent over the past 10 years from $42,669 in 2010, to $55,328 annually in 2016.

As a part of the effort to support workers for employment and economic development needs, AM-RAMTEC will provide funding to:

1. Support targeted outreach and case management of hard-to-serve populations pursuing careers in robotics and automation

2. Establish and expand the availability of training programs to improve access for program participants and ensure high quality materials, facilities, and curriculums for training providers

3. Increase the number of trained workers with access to high-wage earning opportunities through demonstrated employer commitments to new hire and incumbent workers

4. Outline clear and achievable career pathway strategies

5. Provide resources to help workforce development partners, training partners and employers braid, leverage and ultimately maximize all available funding in order to minimize costs to program participants and place workers in income-earning and income-generating positions as quickly as possible

For more information, please contact: Lisa Katz at

Key AM-RAMTEC partners include the following:
• Employers/associations: FANUC, Magna, RHP Enterprises, Wellington, Huron Automatic Screw Company, Employee Resource Network (Employer Association), Automation Alley (Employer Association)
• Michigan Works! Agencies: Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA), Genesee-Shiawassee-Thumb (GST), Southeast Michigan Consortium (SEMC), Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC), Oakland County Michigan Works!, State of Michigan Workforce Development Agency
• Education and Training Providers: Community Colleges: Baker College, Henry Ford College, Jackson College, Macomb Community College, Monroe County Community College, Mott Community College, Schoolcraft College, St. Clair County Community College, Washtenaw Community College, Wayne County Community College District
• Economic development agencies: Ann

Arbor SPARK, Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County, Monroe County Business Development Corporation, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership


The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) is a collaborative effort between six Michigan Works! Agencies (MWAs), ten community colleges, and numerous other organizations. The WIN partnership aims to create a comprehensive and cohesive workforce development system in Southeast Michigan that provides employers with the talent they need for success.


Henry Ford College
Jackson College
Macomb Community College
Monroe County Community College
Mott Community College
Oakland Community College
Schoolcraft College
St. Clair County Community College
Washtenaw Community College
Wayne County Community College District

Michigan Works! Agencies
Detroit Employment Solutions Corp.
Genesee-Shiawassee-Thumb Michigan Works!
Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!
Oakland County Michigan Works!
Southeast Michigan Community Alliance
Southeast Michigan Works! Consortium

Michigan Coalition receives $5.97 million Department of Defense Grant

DETROIT, Mich. – The Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment awarded a $5.97 million grant to support an Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative in Southeast Michigan.

The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative clears the path to the discovery and growth of emerging markets and industries by providing immediate and sustained assistance to firms and workers in a 13-county region in Southeast Michigan affected by reduced Department of Defense procurement. The coalition coordinates assistance to organizations that promote research, industrial development, and talent development relevant to the defense industry.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) provided a cash match along with in-kind funding from the Michigan Defense Center—an operation of the MEDC—to obtain these funds. Macomb County Economic Development and the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) for Southeast Michigan also provided matching funds. A special thank you is also extended to Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Gary Peters, and Congressman Sander Levin for providing letters of support for the initiative.

Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Investment Board (M/SCWB) working on behalf of Macomb County Government, will administer the grant with management assistance from the Workforce Intelligence Network.

The grant funding will be used on a variety of projects to identify and diversify Michigan’s defense portfolio, expand educational and workforce training for emerging markets, and provide opportunities for Michigan companies engaged in the defense economy.

The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative will support resiliency and capacity in:

· Autonomous transportation and connected mobility (particularly the electronics, sensors, and componentry sector)

· Lightweight materials manufacturing sector

· Information technology with a focus on increasing security of automated transportation systems and products

“The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative is committed to identifying new opportunities for Michigan businesses and workers that play a critical role in our country’s defense,” said Senator Stabenow. “Thanks to the work of the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board and Workforce Intelligence Network, this project will help strengthen the connections between defense, advanced manufacturing, and cutting-edge research that is truly unique here in Southeast Michigan.”

“Southeast Michigan has been an important defense asset for generations, and the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative will help ensure that this crucial sector of our economy can continue to grow,” said Senator Gary Peters. “I’m honored to help announce this funding that will help promote the development of new technologies and create job opportunities in areas from cybersecurity to autonomous vehicles and smart mobility that will ensure our state and our country continue to benefit from the experience and knowledge that Southeast Michigan’s companies offer.”

“This funding will assist the MEDC and our partners in providing tools and training to offset some of the contraction in the federal defense budget that has affected our companies and workers in Michigan,” says Sean Carlson, VP MEDC, Michigan Defense Center. “These projects will help us identify the vast logistics and acquisition network in Michigan that serves the defense industry as well as grow opportunities for our companies to expand into new and emerging markets.”

“This award highlights the unrivaled set of circumstances we have here in Southeastern Michigan,” said Congressman Sandy Levin. “Our skilled workforce, strong manufacturing base, and longtime collaboration with the auto and defense industries at TACOM and TARDEC all make our region especially competitive for private-public partnerships that can lead to cost savings and new jobs.”

Currently, thousands of Michigan companies, supporting over 52,000 Michigan jobs, bring billions of federal defense dollars to Michigan’s economy. Michigan is home to the U.S. Army’s Detroit Arsenal, TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM), Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), Army Acquisition Center (AAC), numerous Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) operations as well as Michigan National Guard bases and installations throughout Michigan with active, reserve and National Guard units.

Advance Michigan Partnership
The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative is an investment of Advance Michigan, an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designation extended by the White House in partnership with 16 federal-government departments. The Advance Michigan area includes the urban centers of Detroit, Flint and Lansing and the counties of Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Ingham, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne. Designated communities are eligible to compete for federal funding from the participating departments, looking to support the growth of manufacturing jobs and related prosperity.

Projects supported by the OEA grant include:

· Establishment of a “Defense Contractor Transition Center” for displaced defense workers

· Formation of a regional Connected Life Collaborative and a strategy and implementation plan for a Connected Life Lab (internet of things) aimed at entrepreneurship and commercialization around connected products

· Development of 2-3 new cyber range facilities and Merit Secure Sandbox testing centers in the region

· Pilot of a university-based Detroit Regional Cyber Training Center

· Regional connectivity plan including asset map and strengths assessment, along with a strategy and action plan to move an overall connected economic development strategy forward

· Launch of 1-3 related demonstrations of autonomous and connected project technologies, with targeted firms receiving technical assistance and commercialization support for their concepts

· Various initiatives to support capacity of the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative, including a regional defense supply chain map; participation in a national network of 13,500 members with commercialization interest and expertise, along with a regional technology transfer/innovation plan; enhancement of the state’s bid targeting system (BTS) to better connect suppliers to business opportunities; economic impact analysis of the Michigan defense industry; defense skills-gap analysis; and action plans and staffing support for the Michigan Automated Systems Collaborative and Opportunity Detroit Tech.

Connection Point Among Talent Partners Awarded $2.19 Million Grant to Grow Regional Contract Manufacturing Base in Southeast Michigan

DETROIT, October 11, 2012 – The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point is among partners including the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences and Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) that were recently awarded $2.19 million over three years through the federal Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge for Advanced Manufacturing.  The funding will support development of the “Innovation Realization Cluster” of Southeast Michigan and connect local businesses with new opportunities in an effort to foster growth and development of the region’s custom-manufacturing base

“Winning this grant reflects this region’s ability to collaborate, its manufacturing capabilities and its unparalleled innovative capacity,” said Benjamin Erulkar, senior vice president of economic development for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “This grant will boost Connection Point’s continued efforts to help Michigan companies pursue and obtain business across new markets and industries.”

Funds will allow partner recipients to identify and connect small-to-medium manufacturing firms that can support lower-volume, rapid-production, highly custom projects.  For example, companies will be better poised to help entrepreneurial firms that develop new concepts to produce prototypes and initial runs of those products without necessarily going into high-volume production.  Partners will work with companies to develop their capacity to accommodate and promote such contracts, arrange partnerships to bid and work on such opportunities, and train workers in custom manufacturing processes, including rapid machine set-up, prototyping, and related skillsets.

“A growing number of manufacturing firms are, or are open to, making a business of producing new things, as well as supporting other companies in doing so,” explained Lisa Katz, executive director of WIN. “Each partner organization will play a critical role in addressing challenges that prevent these employers from starting, growing, or transforming their business.”

Mike Finney, president & CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation added, “Hundreds of manufacturing firms in Southeast Michigan are well-positioned to grow their businesses into this space. We can support innovative firms by teaching new processes and entering new markets.”

In addition to the federal funds, the state of Michigan will provide $500,000 through the MI Match program.  Other key supporting partners include the members of the Business Accelerator Network of SE Michigan (BANSEM), University of Michigan, and Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

The Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge for Advanced Manufacturing is funded by five federal agencies: Economic Development Administration, Employment & Training Administration, Small Business Administration, Department of Energy, and National Institute of Science & Technology.

Detroit Regional Chamber’s Connection Point  With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three-quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. As part of the Chamber’s economic development portfolio, Connection Point links Michigan companies to global and local purchasers in new markets. Connection Point uncovers and develops procurement and R&D opportunities that diversify the customer bases of Michigan companies and creates sustained economic growth. The Connection Point program is funded by a grant through the Economic Development Administration, which operates as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) is an affiliate of the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. MMTC’s focus is on business development, cost reduction, and quality improvement in manufacturing companies with fewer than 500 employees, with an emphasis on those with 20-249 – large enough to need effective, repeatable processes but too small to be well-served by the for-profit consulting sector. Each year, MMTC helps 200-300 Michigan manufacturers through training, consulting, and management mentoring. The MMTC is funded by NIST MEP, the MEDC, and its industry clients.

NCMS  The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, the largest cross industry collaborative Research & Development consortium in North America, is dedicated to driving innovation in commercial, defense, robotics and environmentally sustainable manufacturing. NCMS has over 25 years of experience in the formation and management of complex, multi-partner collaborative R&D programs, and is backed by corporate members representing virtually every manufacturing sector. For more information on NCMS, visit

WIN is a collaborative effort between eight community colleges, seven Michigan Works! Agencies, and various other academic, economic development, and other partners.  Its mission is to help Southeast Michigan businesses find the talent they need for success.  WIN accomplishes this using labor market intelligence, providing custom solutions for employers, and promoting innovative policy and practice.  For more information on WIN visit

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