Lakeshore's free entrepreneur training for laid off workers to roll out statewide

Keeping West Michigan’s talent in the region is the goal of a free lakeshore-based training program that helps laid off workers start businesses. The model has attracted support from some influential organizations and could soon be rolled out nationwide.

According to excerpts from the story:

HOLLAND — With layoffs and corporate downsizing the norm, local economic development agencies are looking for ways to keep talent in the region. One such project run by a partnership of Lakeshore Advantage, the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center and the Ottawa County Michigan Works! is quickly becoming a model for other communities.

The group is offering the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac New Venture, an eight-week program that helps individuals evaluate business opportunities and develop action plans for owning their own businesses. Better yet, it’s free of charge to dislocated workers.

According to Amanda Chocko, director of entrepreneurial development at Lakeshore Advantage, the involved organizations are looking at the Holland partnership as an example of how the program could be used to help laid-off workers across the country without them having to plunk down a large chunk of money.

Read the complete story here.

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