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Workforce winning in latest state budget proposals; KS, MA, MI, OK, TN reviewed

February 08, 2018

Workforce development programs and apprenticeships continue to win favor in many of the governors’ state budget proposals. In our latest review of TBED initiatives being proposed in state budgets, we found Kansas asking for additional funds for research, worker training and apprenticeships; Massachusetts is looking to double community college scholarship funding and increase several workforce development initiatives; and in Michigan, skilled trades training would receive a boost.


In a supplemental FY 2019 budget proposal drafted by previous Gov. Sam Brownback, $5 million of additional funding was requested to enable the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) to expand its research and worker training in automated manufacturing processes.  Located at Wichita State University, NIAR houses three Federal Aviation Administration designated centers of excellence in general aviation research, composites and advanced materials, and airworthiness assurance.

The governor also requested $1 million to increase the number of registered apprenticeships across the state to provide structured on-the-job learning that is industry driven. Administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce, the funds would support 500 additional apprenticeships next year. New Gov. Jeff Colyer does have the opportunity to amend the budget prior to the start of the veto session in April.


Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed FY 2019 budget places a heavy emphasis on education and workforce development, but reduces funding for select TBED programs.

Notably, Baker is proposing a $7.1 million increase for the MassGrant scholarship for community college students, doubling the current scholarship money. The scholarship covers gaps in financial aid for tuition and fees for students at the state’s community colleges. The budget also proposes $3 million to support a new program that encourages underrepresented student populations to pursue STEM fields.

Several workforce development initiatives would receive increased funding. For example, Baker is proposing $1.5 million in new funding to support accelerated certificate programs at community colleges in healthcare, manufacturing, and information technology. The governor is also proposing $700,000 to fund apprenticeships in these fields. An additional $1 million in new funding would support the development of post-secondary Vocational Institutes in manufacturing and other high-demand sectors. The state’s STEM Pipeline Fund, which provides grants to high schools to establish partnerships with local employers, would receive an additional $500,000, bringing total support to $2 million. To support small business owners and entrepreneurs, the administration is proposing a reduction to the state’s filing fee for forming a limited liability company – one of the country’s highest – from $500 to $250. 


Gov. Rick Snyder’s FY 2019 budget would increase funding for public education and several workforce development initiatives. The Going Pro program, which supports training and apprenticeships around skilled trades, would receive $10 million in one-time funding during FY 2019, bringing total funding to $40.9 million.

Not included in the budget proposal is the governor’s “Marshall Plan for Talent.” The governor’s office announced that they will propose a nearly $100 million plan for focused on 21st century workforce development in the coming weeks.


As part of her FY 2019 proposed budget, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin introduced the Step Up Oklahoma plan, which was developed by a nonpartisan group of business, civic, and community leaders. The main goals of the plan are to stabilize state revenue, increase government efficiency, and raise teacher pay by $5,000 annually.


In his FY 2019 Budget Proposal, term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam proposes non-recurring funding for two efforts intended to grow the state economy though science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. They include:

  • $3 million for Launch Tennessee Grants to promote innovation and entrepreneurship through the distribution of grants aimed at increasing new businesses from research and development activities throughout the state; and,
  • $5 million is recommended to support research at Tennessee public institutions of higher education that align with state economic and community development priorities and initiatives.
Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennesseestate budgets, workforce