NLEA Supports Application

Developer Apprenticeship Program

A first-of-its-kind apprenticeship program in northern Michigan will help a Petoskey-based software company train its employees. The Pesto Group, in partnership with Northwest Michigan Works!, has launched a unique U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program for future software developers.

The NLEA supported the development of this programming by connecting the Pesto team with the local Michigan Works Business Services Team, who are integral to the approval of apprenticeships. Additionally, the NLEA helped Pesto explore US Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding for employee training and incubator creation. Going forward, the NLEA will support Pesto’s application to the USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program.

We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact of this apprenticeship.


NLEA Featured on WCMU

At the end of September, NLEA Strategic Initiatives Manager Sam Bailey was interviewed by WCMU about regional labor force trends. The discussion was sparked by the recent labor force analysis article Bailey wrote for the NLEA website. The interview was broadcasted on both WCMU Public Radio and Interlochen Public Radio. 


MDARD Awards 21 Grants

to Rural Michigan Communities

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) Office of Rural Development (ORD) is awarding 21 grants totaling more than $1 million through its Rural Readiness Grant Program to support pre-development activities to expedite housing production, infrastructure improvements, and bolster rural economies.

“These grants represent a critical step forward in addressing the significant housing, infrastructure, and other challenges facing our rural communities,” said MDARD Director Tim Boring. “With Governor Whitmer’s continued budget investments and MSHDA’s partnership, MDARD and ORD can expand our reach even further as Michigan makes ongoing progress with high-speed internet infrastructure, affordable housing, and wastewater capacity expansion. ORD is the state’s leading voice in rural development and these investments are another step in building the long-term vitality of those local economies.”

The following communities in our region were awarded grants:

  • Village of Mackinaw City - (Emmet and Cheboygan Counties) - $37,800 to prepare and package village-owned parcels for housing redevelopment.

  • City of Petoskey - (Emmet County) - $50,000 for a multi-jurisdictional water and wastewater infrastructure expansion assessment.

Congratulations to our local communities that were

awarded as part of this initiative!

Local Communities Awarded Funding

through the RAP Program

Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in announcing approval of $99.2 million in grant funding for projects across Michigan’s 10 prosperity regions through the Revitalization and Placemaking Program (RAP 2.0). 

RAP 2.0 is deploying $100 million in state funding to address the COVID-19 impacts and community revitalization needs in Michigan communities to invest in projects that enable population and tax revenue growth through rehabilitation of vacant and blighted buildings and historic structures, rehabilitation and development of vacant properties, and development of permanent place-based infrastructure associated with social zones and traditional downtowns, outdoor dining, and place-based public spaces. 

Congratulations to our local communities that were awarded!

Public Space Place-Based Infrastructure Awards: 

  • City of East Jordan- (Charlevoix County)-  $300,000 

  • Village of Elk Rapids- (Antrim County)- $485,000 

Prosperity Grant Awarded to

Cheboygan Opera House

The Consumers Energy Foundation has selected the Cheboygan Opera House as one of two recipients in the state to receive its prestigious Prosperity Awards. The grant is worth $250,000 to help fund improvements to ensure the facility is accessible for attendees and performers of all physical abilities. 


More than 100 organizations from around the state applied for the Prosperity Awards and only two received grants of $250,000 each. In addition to the Cheboygan Opera House, the City of Madison Heights will receive funding for a new bandshell in their Civic Center Park.

Congratulations to the recipients!

$50 Million in Grants Available

to Michigan Businesses

Michigan employers looking to take advantage of the Going PRO Talent Fund program will be able to apply for a share of approximately $50 million in competitive training awards over the course of two application cycles. These dollars help grow Michigan’s workforce and support residents’ access to good-paying, in-demand jobs.

Going PRO Talent Fund grants are awarded to employers through the Michigan Works! network (MWAs). Participating employers will play an integral role in defining their key training needs and working with their local MWAs and other partners to develop an appropriate training plan. Training must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer and lead to a transferable, industry-recognized credential.

The application period for the first award cycle ends Friday, October 27 at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and selected applicants will be announced in December 2023. The second application cycle will open spring 2024.

Businesses interested in learning more or applying for funding should contact their local Michigan Works! Service Center. Click the button below to find contact information.


EGLE Announces Grant Funding Available

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announces $250,000 in available grant funding through the Agriculture and Rural Businesses Energy Incentive Program. The goal of the grants is to accelerate the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy on farms, agriculture-related entities, and rural businesses. 

This grant opportunity will support increased resilience and stability of agricultural, agriculture-related, and rural businesses in Michigan, through energy efficiency, renewable energy, electrification, and other energy projects. The Agriculture and Rural Businesses Energy Incentive Program grants will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and further Michigan on its path to carbon neutrality by 2050, as stated in the MI Healthy Climate Plan


Survey Underway to Help

Address Gaps in Child Care

Your Opinion is Needed

If you're a parent of a child (0-17 years old) in Antrim, Charlevoix, or Emmet Counties, please consider completing the Family Child Care Survey. This short, anonymous survey will help improve access to high-quality affordable child care throughout our region. Networks Northwest is accepting responses through November 17th.


DTE Energy Efficiency Program for Business

DTE Energy is committed to helping your business thrive by making it easier for you to improve operations with energy efficiency upgrades. These improvements can be expensive and that’s why the DTE Energy Efficiency Program for Business offers a comprehensive set of rebates for both electric and natural gas energy efficiency projects designed to help you invest in energy efficient technologies and reduce your payback timeline. As a result, your business could use less energy, reduce emissions, improve operations, and save on your energy bill.

To find out what rebates are available, click the button below.


Consumer Energy Foundation

Choose The North

Still Going Strong

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