BCU Unveils $500,000 Program to Draw Talent to Battle Creek
One of the top things companies look for when considering locating to a new place, or expanding operations, is the talent pool of potential employees. With that in mind, Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) has established the TRAIN program. TRAIN is an acronym for Talent Retention, Attraction, and Inclusion Incentive. TRAIN is a $500,000 pilot program for new or existing employees to move to Battle Creek.
Part of economic development is to eliminate or lessen any barriers to expansion, and the program also provides a path to homeownership for eligible existing employees. The grant program provides up to $12,000 toward down payments on a home, rent, and moving expenses.
TRAIN is a partnership between BCU and participating Battle Creek employers, which match contributions. A special award tier also exists for entrepreneurs, freelance workers, and existing employees. The program will commit at least 40 percent of awards to underrepresented demographics, including women, persons of color,
and the LGBTQ+ community.
“Covid-19 has radically changed the workplace,” said Joe Sobieralski, president and CEO of BCU. “Many employees now have the flexibility and curiosity to relocate. People are leaving larger cities. We want to capture and retain that talent.”
Applicants may qualify for awards by moving to the corporate limits of the City of Battle Creek. Those who live outside a 20-mile radius of Battle Creek may be eligible.
“There’s new attention on markets like ours,” Sobieralski said. “TRAIN is a multi-faceted program. It will help Battle Creek employers compete for fresh talent – and retain existing local employees.”