In brief

Energy assistance available to low-income Michiganders

LANSING — As colder weather arrives, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is reminding low-income residents they can apply for emergency energy assistance either online or using paper applications.

“MDHHS is making sure that residents who may need assistance to keep their homes heated and the lights on have access to energy assistance applications – whether they want to apply online or using paper forms” said Terrence Beurer, the department’s deputy director for Field Operations Administration. “People who need help paying their energy bills can apply online at or pick up paper applications at their local MDHHS office. Lobby navigators at MDHHS offices and some private agencies that assist with energy assistance can help people apply online. We want residents to have multiple ways to apply so they can keep their families warm.”

Assistance to low-income households is available through State Emergency Relief and the Michigan Energy Assistance Program.

A household that qualifies for State Emergency Relief for heat or non-heat electricity services also qualifies for additional energy services from the Michigan Energy Assistance Program through private agencies that have received MDHHS grant funding.

There are some changes in the application process beginning Oct. 1.

All households applying for energy assistance are now using MDHHS applications. Previously, there were different applications for the Michigan Energy Assistance Program. MDHHS will now process all applications, which will streamline the process and allow grantees to devote more of their resources to helping people become energy self-sufficient.

Beginning Oct. 1, people can apply for energy assistance year-round.

Details: Visit and click on “Assistance Programs” and then “Emergency Relief: Home, Utilities & Burial.” Or contact the local MDHHS office for information. — G.G.

More than 800 organizations partner to complete submissions for grants

LANSING — More than 800 businesses, educators and community organizations have committed to pursuing Marshall Plan for Talent grants, Gov. Rick Snyder announced Thursday. These entities have applied to be considered for the first round of Innovation Grants under the $100 million Marshall Plan for Talent investment.

The first step in the Marshall Plan for Talent Innovation Grant application process – concept summary submissions – closed Sept. 19, generating 88 submissions requesting nearly $90 million in funding. The submission revolves around creating or expanding innovative programs that will see employers and educators engaged in transformative partnerships to prepare students for the realities of the 21st century economy.

Leaders from the automotive, technology and Professional Trades sectors were among those to partner with educational institutions and community organizations.

The next step in the application process, which opens Oct. 9, is for those groups approved to move forward submitting a Talent Agreement. These agreements will detail how each organization will contribute to the success of students. It also includes identifying the high-demand, high-wage careers students will be prepared in.

State leaders said they expect to announce firstround awardees in December.

Details: Visit G.G.

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