Michigan invests $3.8M into employment support program as state reopens

State pushing initiatives to encourage residents to return to workforce


LANSING, Mich. – The state is investing millions of dollars into its Michigan Works! program in an effort to help unemployed residents find work.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday a $3.8 million investment into the program, which provides support, training and services to Michigan residents who are seeking employment. The workforce development group is a nonprofit organization and is not part of the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA).

According to Whitmer’s office, with this investment, Michigan Works! will support the UIA by working with unemployed claimants who are “deemed most likely to exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits.” The group will provide individual assessments, reemployment services and referrals to unemployed individuals receiving benefits.

“This $3.8 million investment is yet another boost to the hardworking people of Michigan as we emerge from the pandemic,” Whitmer said. “We are focused on getting things done that will make a difference in people’s lives right now -- that includes supporting Michiganders with the services and support they need to get back to work with better jobs and bigger paychecks.”

Officials say the UIA will specifically refer eligible claimants to receive these services.

Visit the Michigan Works! website here for the latest information.

The investment is one of several being pushed by Whitmer to help and encourage Michigan residents to rejoin the workforce as COVID restrictions are loosened in the state, and as employers struggle to hire workers.

Last week, the governor said she wants Michiganders who are returning to work after being laid off, as well as new hires, to be eligible for a $300 weekly bonus. Whitmer says she wants to expand the state’s back-to-work incentive to offer the bonus through Sept. 4, 2021.

“Michigan’s back-to-work incentive is a win-win for workers and businesses,” Whitmer said. “It puts more money in the pockets of hardworking families and helps employers fill jobs by incentivizing people to re-enter the workforce.”

Read: Michigan Gov. Whitmer wants $300 weekly bonus for returning laid-off workers, new hires

Also last week, Whitmer showed support for a one-time bonus payment for essential employees who worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic in Michigan.

The governor publicly backed the idea proposed by two Michigan lawmakers, saying essential employees kept the state moving during an unprecedented year.

“The hundreds of thousands of folks who worked through the pandemic to keep the rest of us going embody what being a Michigander is all about: You care for your neighbors. You work hard. You get it done no matter the odds,” Whitmer said. “We must ensure they have the support they need to thrive as we emerge from the pandemic together.”

Related: Michigan dials back COVID workplace rules as state prepares to fully reopen

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.