Hiring, training and employment successes celebrated at annual Impact Awards

State leadership and lawmakers came together this week to honor west Michigan leaders for their efforts to create jobs and develop talent in their communities.

Legislators and talent development officials recognized Muskegon resident Michael Minton, Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, Muskegon Tool Industries, Orchard View Community Education and West Michigan Works! with 2018 Impact Awards.

Michael Minton visited West Michigan Works! in 2017 seeking support in finding a career, not just a job. He was referred to LINKED Muskegon, an adult education and training program that was developed to meet the need for skilled workers.

The program is a collaboration between local employers, adult education programs, the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center and West Michigan Works!. With support from Michigan Works!, Michael was selected to participate.

During the 18-week program, Michael obtained his high school diploma, received training in CNC machining and developed employability skills. At the end of the program, he met with employers to discuss his experience and skills. Michael was prepared not just for hire, but to excel in a job.

Muskegon Tool Industries was one of the employers involved in the LINKED program and was interested in hiring Michael. Because Michael needed additional skills and was new to the industry, West Michigan Works! was able to provide On-the-Job Training funds to help offset the cost of training.

With support from Michigan Works!, Michael has realized his goal of a high school diploma and is employed doing a job he enjoys. Soon he will begin taking classes at Muskegon Community College for a certificate in CNC Programming.

“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 Minton, 2018 Impact Award Winner

“Michigan Works! is a tremendous resource in our community and skilled trades play an important role in both the local and global economy,” said State Senator Goeff Hansen (R-Hart). “I offer my congratulations to Muskegon Tool Industries, Michigan Works! and Michael on their partnership and success.”

The Impact Awards, hosted by Michigan Works! Association, honor the finest achievements in workforce development statewide, from the creation of new jobs to the accomplishments of hardworking citizens.

During the annual event, lawmakers present tributes to award winners, employers, workers, Michigan Works! Agencies, and partners, who share their stories and the role Michigan Works! played in their success.

“This success story is a fine example of an effective workforce development partnership. Thank you to Michigan Works! for developing a strategy that gets the job done right,” said State Representative Terry Sabo (D-Muskegon). “Michigan Works! has made it a priority to meet the demands of employers and that’s producing great results.”