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The Future of Work Grand Challenge is a national competition that uses innovative technology to get individuals, impacted by COVID-19 layoffs and closures, back to work. Quickly.

Participating workforce agencies, like Michigan Works!, are looking for people to help them test new technologies. Participants will receive FREE training and learn new skills that can lead to higher-paying job opportunities.

Take a look at the solutions below. If you're interested in participating, fill out the application form.
A member of the training team will contact you with next steps.


If you have questions about the program or the application, please complete the contact form.





Solution 1:
CNC machinist training

The Opportunity

Machinists are in high demand in Michigan with almost 3,000 openings each year. The average wage for machinists in Michigan is $41,930.
Learn more about machinists.


The skills learned in this training are used in other occupations including industrial machinery mechanics, maintenance and repair workers, machinery assemblers and fabricators, tool and die makers.



The Training

This training combines online learning and mixed reality training. You can do your online learning anywhere, anytime. Through the app you will access course content, track your progress and get in-app chat support.

The training a 3D virtual environment where you will see real footage of equipment through the eyes of an instructor who will demonstrate the tasks and processes you learned online. See example.

Once you’ve successfully completed training, you’ll be connected to employers who are interested in hiring participants.


The Commitment

This is a 33-day free training program that begins mid-July 2021 and runs until August 8, 2021. You can expect to spend 12 hours per week on the coursework, working on a mobile phone or computer with internet access. The virtual training will be done at a Michigan Works! service center.

Solution 2:
sales & customer service training

The Opportunity

Do you love connecting with people? This, plus sales and customer service skills, can be used to find jobs in many different industries - health care, hospitality, banking and more. In Michigan, the average wage for sales and customer service jobs is $19.71 per hour.


The Training

This online training can be done anywhere, anytime. You'll complete personalized coursework to help you master your skills, participate in real-world team projects to practice those skills, and receive feedback from a coach to help you succeed.


At the end of the training you'll receive help identifying and applying for sales and customer service roles.

The Commitment

This is a 90-day training that begins in May 2021.You can expect to spend 10-15 hours per week on the online coursework, coaching and events. All you’ll need is a smartphone or computer with reliable internet access and video capability.

Solution 3:
Entrepreneurial training

The Opportunity

Do you have a business idea that you'd like to pursue? Or a side hustle that you'd like to take to the next level? Starting your own business can offer an alternative path to generating income.

The Training

The training consists of a facilitated online workshop and app. As a participant, you will gain basic knowledge of business concepts, create a business plan and budget, connect with microlenders and other small business support resources, and develop important soft skills such as critical thinking and decision-making.


The Commitment

This online training will begin in June 2021. The boot camp is six hours done over several sessions. The basic training program consists of nine sessions, three hours each.



To apply, complete the application below. If you have questions about the program or the application, contact us.

The Future of Work Grand Challenge was created through a collaboration between leading social impact organizations New Profit, JFF, XPRIZE, and MIT Solve.