TROY (WWJ) — Automation Alley said this week it has awarded $1 million in technical training grants to 24 area companies through the second round of its Technical Talent Development Program Challenge Fund.

The 24 companies involved plan to train 472 local workers for new and existing high-tech jobs in 2014. Recipients include small, midsized and large businesses across Southeast Michigan.

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Launched in 2012 with two employer partners, HP Enterprise Services of Pontiac and Lakeside Software Inc. of Bloomfield Hills and Ann Arbor, TTDP is made possible through a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

In 2013, Automation Alley awarded 13 local companies a portion of $750,000 in training funds through the first round of the TTDP Challenge Fund. Automation Alley member companies with immediate IT training needs were eligible to apply for the funds. As a result, 287 new and existing employees participated in training in 2013.

Training funds are administered by EdEn Inc., a company based at the Oakland University OU INC business incubator in Rochester that manages economic and workforce development projects.

Local training providers — including corporate training companies, workforce development organizations and educational institutions — deliver training to partner employers.

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The specific type of training to be conducted is determined by the needs of the employer and includes industry-recognized vendor certifications for select IT occupations, such as software developers for applications, database administrators, computer specialists and computer user support specialists.

The 2014 Automation Alley TTDP Challenge Fund awardees include:
• ACE Controls (Farmington Hills)
• AMT (Orion Township)
• Baker College (Auburn Hills campus)
• Compuware Corp. (Detroit)
• DASI Solutions (Pontiac)
• Detroit Labs LLC (Detroit)
• ESG Automotive USA (Troy)
• Future Help Designs (Pontiac)
• General Motors (Warren)
• Hirotec America (Auburn Hills)
• Logic Solutions (Ann Arbor)
• Mobile Comply (Pontiac)
• Mobis North America LLC (Farmington Hills)
• Oakland Schools (Waterford)
• Pixo Group (Southfield)
• Plastipak Packaging (Plymouth)
• R & E Automated (Macomb Township)
• Research Into Internet Systems (Troy)
• Saline Lectronics (Saline)
• Softura (Farmington Hills)
• Stout Systems (Ann Arbor)
• Total Solutions (Brighton)
• W3R Consulting (Southfield)
• ZenaComp (Farmington Hills)

Companies were notified of their awards Feb. 7 and are expected to begin training new and existing workers within 60 days of notification.

Since its founding in 1999, Automation Alley’s membership has grown to include nearly 1,000 businesses, educational institutions, government entities and nonprofit organizations from the city of Detroit and the surrounding eight-county region.

Automation Alley provides a variety of exclusive benefits to its members to help them succeed, including networking opportunities, meeting space and public relations tools. Automation Alley also serves the general business community in four key areas: entrepreneurial services, talent development, international business services, and defense and manufacturing.

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