TROY — Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association, announces the application packet for the Technical Talent Development Program’s (TTDP) Challenge Fund is now available to its nearly 1,000 member employers.

The $750,000 Challenge Fund has been set up to provide funding specifically for Automation Alley member companies seeking to hire and train full-time, highly skilled and permanent workers.

The TTDP is made possible through a $5 million grant awarded to Automation Alley by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration in 2012. The Challenge Fund portion of the grant provides companies with funding to assist in meeting immediate training needs in specific areas of IT-related occupations. It is designed to assist employers of all sizes, from entrepreneurial startup firms to more established companies with IT needs.

The application, along with specific information and instructions, can be found at Look for the TTDP information in the Quick Links box on the home page. To apply for the Challenge Fund, click on the link and download a PDF of the application, fill it out, and print or mail it to Automation Alley, C/O Alysia Green, 2675 Bellingham, Troy, MI 48083.

Employers are encouraged to submit applications that reflect comprehensive training funding needs. The submission deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 15.

“The Challenge Fund was created to ensure that small and medium-size technology companies within our membership are able to benefit by expanding their staffs with local workers and by training incumbent workers,” said Automation Alley Executive Director Ken Rogers. “The TTDP and the Challenge Fund are innovative, employer-driven solutions to the talent development challenges facing Southeast M
ichigan. It supports the growth and expansion of the region as a tech hub.”

Automation Alley applied for the TTDP grant in partnership with Oakland Community College and the Oakland County Michigan Works! Workforce Development Division, with additional support provided by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and the Michigan delegation.

Training funded by the Challenge Fund will be allocated for local unemployed candidates through collaboration between employer partners and Michigan Works! Agencies. Employee training will include industry-recognized vendor certifications. Training will be provided by local corporate training companies, workforce development organizations and educational institutions.

For more information on the Challenge Fund, contact the Automation Alley Resource Center at 800-427-5100 or


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