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Central Michigan Talent Consortium

Marshall Plan FAQs

Updated 3/18/19

Q - What is the Marshall Plan?

A - The basic idea was created by Governor Snyder in an attempt to address the Talent Gap issue experienced in the State.  The link below is the State's Marshall Plan landing page.  There are several "resources" that provide more detail on this page.  For the most detailed understanding of the Marshall Plan, individuals should start by looking though Marshall Plan 101 resource..  This is the most comprehensive explanation.  There are also other resources that would help answer questions about that arise from the Marshall Plan 101 document.  

Marshall Plan landing Page:,5863,7-336-85008---,00.html

There was $100 million dollars that were made available for one-time use due to unused funds that were left from a specific fund - not general budget.  With these funds, the governor wanted to implement this initiative called the Marshall Plan.  The allocation of the funds was approved by the legislature in the summer of 2018.  Of the $100 million, there was $59 million allocated as described on page 6 of the Marshall Plan 101.  There are other initiatives that are not a part of this competitive process that are getting the other $41 million.  This summer the legislature took the ideas of the Marshall Plan and the competitive grant portion and codified it into law.

Q - It is reported that the funds are going to a Talent Consortium.  What is a Talent Consortium?

A - A Talent Consortium is a collaboration of stakeholders from industry, education, and community organizations that come together in a formal partnership to identify specific talent gaps and develop innovative solutions to close that gap.  These groups are not limited by location, size, or type of industry and education. Framework of a Talent Consrtium Graphic -

Q - How was the Central Michigan Talent Consortium created?

A - A requirement for a consortium to submit a proposal for innovation grant funds was that there was at least one K-12 school district or ISD and two businesses.  Further, the educational entity had to serve as the fiscal agent for the funds.  The Gratiot-Isabella RESD was in a unique position when considering the Marshall Plan.  The RESD works very closely with the 9 districts it serves and many businesses through economic development agencies and business associations.  After some initial consideration by key stakeholders, it was determined that the best approach would be to form a consortium that included the Gratiot-Isabella Region and aligned to the GIRESD educational entities.  Gratiot-Isabella RESD offer to serve as the Convener and Fiscal Agent for consortium.  With that direction, key stakeholders were contacted to elicit engagement in this initiative and a commitment to serve on the talent consortium, eventually named the Central Michigan Talent Consortium.

Q - What entities make up the Central Michigan Talent Consortium?

A - There are 38 members on the Central Michigan Talent Consortium that represent 30 different entities.  The entities or partners are:



Gratiot-Isabella RESD

Aircraft Precision Products

Alma Public Schools

Avalon & Tahoe

Ashley Community Schools

Isabella Community Credit Union

Beal City Public Schools

J. Ranck Electric

Breckenridge Community Schools

Merrill Technologies Group

Fulton Public Schools

Michigan Masonic Home

Ithaca Public Schools

MidMichigan Health

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools

Powell Fabrication

Shepherd Public Schools

Welbilt - Delfield

St. Louis Public Schools


Michigan Works!

Alma College

Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works!

Central Michigan University

Economic Development

Merrill Institute

Greater Gratiot Development Corp.

Mid Michigan College

Middle Michigan Development Corp.

Business Associations

Other Partners

Central Michigan Manufacturing Association

Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance

Home Builders Association of Central Mich

Junior Achievement of Central Michigan

* We also received letters of support and commitment from other employers that did not serve as an official member of the consortium.  Those members were Burch Tank & Truck, Case Systems, Legend Manufacturing

Q - What if a business wants to get involved with the Marshall Plan activities or participate on the Talent Consortium now that the grant has been awarded and implementation has begun?

A - Any business is welcome to become involved with the Marshall Plan activities and can join the Talent Consortium at any point.  The idea behind creation of the Talent Consortium is that it will be a living body that will exist beyond the life of the Marshall Plan grant.  The Central Michigan Talent Consortium has committed to meet at least once a quarter to review the implementation of the Marshall Plan activities, review current employment needs,  and ways members can address employment needs through school-to-work collaborative activities.

Q - Is the Central Michigan Talent Consortium its own entity with an office and staff?

A - The Central Michigan Talent Consortium was created in the fall of 2018, after the State announce the Marshall Plan Innovation Grants. The consortium is made up of stakeholders from 30 entities within the region.  The talent consortium is not subordinate to any of the entities and is its own entity.  However, as a requirement of the Marshall Plan an education entity has to be the fiscal agent.  The Gratiot-Isabella RESD is serving as the fiscal agent and has a staff member serving as the consortium “convener”.  There is no office or staff for the consortium.  It is just the collaborative efforts of the 38 members.  But, everything has been going through the RESD since they are the fiscal agent and providing the convener.  The convener is the association superintendent for CTE, and the coordination of this work is going through his office.    The Central Michigan Talent Consortium proposal does include using the grant funds to hire 3 people for this work.  These individuals would be the only staff.  As the fiscal agent for the consortium, they would be RESD employees paid through the grant funds.

Q - What did the Central Michigan Talent Consortium propose?  How will grant funds be used?

A - There are many details included in the proposal, but the following will give an overview.  There are three grant areas the talent consortium addressed.  The first was creating a comprehensive Workforce Citizenship curriculum.  This is basically developing, delivering, assessing, reporting, and credentialing workplace skills that our business partners said were critical for them to find and retain talent.  To accomplish this work, the proposal included hiring a curriculum developer to build the curriculum and work with districts on the implementation.  This curriculum would embedded into K-12 instruction.  The plan also calls for local businesses to provide employees as mentors and presenters in the classes.  The grant funds will be used to hire the curriculum developer, create instructional kits, and other related supplies during the three-year grant term.  The second area was creating a Career Navigation System. Funds will be used to hire two Career Navigators and all of the activities associated with their work on career aware, career exploration, and career planning activities.  In addition to the navigators working directly with students, there are several other activities such as a Skill Trades Summer Camp, Educator to Industry Tours, and Teacher Externships. The proposal also included purchasing equipment to upgrade equipment in the high-demand field and high-wage career programs.  

The three buckets of grant funding break down as follows:

Workplace Citizenship and Related Activities = $349,330.00

Career Navigators and Related Activities = $645,800.00

Equipment = $366,481.00

For a total of  $1,361,611

Q - How were the high-demand field, high-wage careers determined?

A - The Central Michigan Talent Consortium analyzed Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives data, Michigan Works! Data, and local employer data to determine the high-demand fields and high-wage careers in our area.

Q - What were the high-demand fields and high-wage careers in our area?

A - The high-demand fields and related careers in our are Health Care and Manufacturing.

Q - When will Marshall Plan Activities begin?

A - The talent consortium began strategic planning in late January.  Implementation is beginning this spring with the creation sub-committees/workgroups to work on specific action items.  Some of the specific activities will begin before the end of the this school year, but most activities will begin in the fall of 2019.  The grant funds are allocated for a 3-year period so specific activities will be phased in during that time.

Q - When and how will the funds be dispersed?

A - The legislation required that the funds be dispersed in the 1/11th state aid payments.  The entire allocation will be in these payments and not spread over the three years of the implementation.  The first payment was made in the February state aid payment.  Since there would have been fours state aid payments prior to February, the February payment included the 1/11th payments from October through January.  The rest will be pay out as 1/11th of the allocation from March to August.