Students and employers gathered at the Muskegon Career Tech Center for the Student Showcase, the last step of the Linked Muskegon program. Linked is an 18-week training course in machining, welding or health sciences open to people of all ages who are looking for a new career.

Former LINKED training participant, Michael Minton
Michael Minton, CNC Programmer at Muskegon Tool Industries

In the crowd was former student, Michael Minton. He completed the program in spring 2017 and came back to talk to students about how his life has changed since completing the program.

Michael landed in the wrong group of kids, as he called it, shortly after beginning high school. After making a series of poor choices, he was expelled from high school two months shy of graduation. With no job, diploma or home, he moved in with a friend and took a factory job. After ten months of 80 hour weeks, Michael was ready to finish high school.

He moved to Muskegon to live with his brother and was referred to the Linked Muskegon program.

“Linked gave me much more than job training skills. It was more about giving me the keys to my future,” Michael said. “It definitely opened up more doors than I’ve ever had open and I’m so grateful for that.”

Michael obtained his high school diploma and received training in CNC machining through LINKED Muskegon. He developed employability skills with the help of West Michigan Works! staff. Michael was offered a job at Muskegon Tool Industries after he completed the program.

“This job has changed my life and helped me to get back on track. It has motivated me, and I’m now continuing my education,” Michael said.

Michael is now enrolled in Muskegon Community College and working toward a certificate in CNC Programming.