West Michigan Works! today recognized Muskegon Community Education Center (MCEC) as its 2023 Partner of the Year. This award celebrates MCEC’s collaboration in supporting youth through career exploration and work experience. The award was presented during the annual West Michigan Works! board meeting held at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park on December 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

MCEC provides a unique alternative high school setting, helping students overcome barriers to earning a diploma, identifying career paths, or transitioning into college. They also extend their impact to middle and high school students in Muskegon Public Schools, focusing on career readiness before senior year. 

One example of the partnership between MCEC and West Michigan Works! is the Career Passport Exploration program, where career coaches taught work-ready core competencies and employability skills to MCEC youth. The program celebrates youth accomplishments with a passport stamp upon completion of each topic. Of the youth who completed the eight-week course, 92.3 percent said they would recommend the program to others.  

“MCEC’s partnership is instrumental in equipping our youth with the necessary skills and resources to succeed, regardless of the challenges they face,” said Chad Patton, development & innovation director, West Michigan Works!. “Their collaboration with Muskegon Public Schools and advocacy for inclusive career tech education is a testament to their commitment to career readiness.” 

MCEC’s partnership with West Michigan Works! has led to significant outcomes in career exploration and work experience programs like Career Passport Exploration, MI Career Launch, Ascend Youth Summer Work Experience, and MiCareerQuest.   

MCEC works with career coaches to guide students into these programs, emphasizing employability skills training and innovative program development. 

“Muskegon Community Educational Center has become a pivotal force in shaping the future of our youth,” said Chauncy R. Williams, MPS career and college facilitator, Muskegon Public Schools. “We are committed to providing an innovative educational experience that aligns perfectly with the ethos of a collaborative community at the heart of student learning.” 

As an advocate of West Michigan Works!, MCEC has been pivotal in designing referral processes for youth programs, demonstrating a flexible and result-oriented approach to partnerships. Their mission aligns seamlessly with the goals of the West Michigan Works! Ascend program, which provides youth with expanded career awareness, exploration, and guidance for a successful career pathway. 

For more information about West Michigan Works! career exploration resources for youth and job seekers, visit the link below

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