A local talent consortium has been selected for grant funding centered on closing the state’s talent gap while encouraging partnership, innovation and investment.

Leaders from the state’s Talent and Economic Development Department and Department of Education announced the first round of Marshall Plan for Talent Innovation Grant awardees. Nine talent consortia, representing 260 entities, were awarded a total of nearly $15 million in grants to start and grow innovative education models. Among the awardees is the Stockbridge High School InvenTeam TM Consortium, which will be focused on training for high-skill, high-demand and high-paying careers in information technology and computer science, manufacturing and professional trades. Skills to be included in training will be communication, collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. The Stockbridge program also integrates financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy into the day-to-day functions of the class. The curriculum is said to be suitable for engineering technicians who could be employed in a variety of fields that include factory automation and manufacturing, electrician, robotics, wind power/energy generation, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Unmanned Ground Vehicles as well as serve as an introduction to engineering for college bound students.

State leaders explained that the investment is just the beginning in helping transform Michigan’s ever-changing education model. Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles said the Marshall Plan is about building partnerships – it was a call for schools and businesses to innovate and rethink how we go about preparing our young people for the future. Leaders added they are eager to get round two kicked off in January and encouraged those who weren’t awarded today to revise their applications for consideration in the next round. The next round in the process starts Wednesday, January 16th. Michigan’s Departments of Education and Talent and Economic Development will hold a webinar to address questions and help consortia prepare for a successful second round on January 11th.