REED CITY \u2014 Employers in Osecola, Mecosta, Lake, Newaygo, Mason and Oceana counties are eligible to apply for grants to help fund employee training through the 2017 Skilled Trades Training Fund. Nearly $20 million in grant funds are available to employers statewide. Administered locally by Michigan Works! West Central, the STTF is designed for short-term training programs (three months or less) and can be utilized by private companies or nonprofits with a Michigan presence. The training, which includes U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeships, must be attended by Michigan residents at least 18 or older who are current or future full-time employees of the company. Michigan Works! West Central is having four employer information presentations about the competitive grants available. \u201cLocal employers who have training needs may be eligible for financial assistance through STTF and should start assessing training needs and preparing applications soon,\u201d said Paul Griffith, executive director of Michigan Works! West Central. Employer presentations are scheduled for the following times: noon on Monday, Aug. 22, at the Ludington\/Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce, 5300 U.S. 10, in Ludington. Lunch will be provided; 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at The Stream, 1 State Road, in Newaygo. Breakfast will be provided; noon on Monday, Aug. 29, at the Hart Community Center, 407 State St., in Hart. Lunch is provided; and noon on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at Michigan Works! West Central, 240 E. Church Ave., in Reed City. Lunch will be provided. Since 2014, Michigan Works! West Central has helped employers in the region train nearly 1,000 employees with about $900,000 in grant funds. Interested companies can visit michiganworkswc.org\/resources-data\/sttf. For more information, employers should call (231) 660-0285.