Michigan governor Rick Snyder has proposed a plan to keep skilled workers in the state and eliminate permanent layoffs until the economy improves, WOOD-TV reports.

The plan, called work sharing, is already being utilized in at least 20 other states. The program allows Michigan employers to cut employee hours, with the difference in compensation paid for by the state's unemployment system. This way, workers keep their jobs and health insurance, while employers don't lose valued members of their teams.

According to the news source, work sharing is part of Snyder's new workforce initiative that also involves the implementation of an online talent development marketplace.

However, Kim Fettig of Grand Rapids-based Ameritemp Staffing isn't convinced, stating that "the state never picks up the check," the media outlet reports.

Press of Atlantic City notes that the initiative is open to businesses with at least 10 full-time employees, and workers would only be eligible if their hours were cut by a minimum of 10 percent.

The program has been in place in Rhode Island for years, and has prevented nearly 10,000 layoffs in 2009 and 2010 alone.  

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