In 2018 West Michigan Works! (WMW) helped 44,890 job seekers, served 3,193 employers and filled 10,463 jobs. This work isn’t done in isolation; it’s accomplished through partnerships with employers, training providers, educators and community organizations. Each December, we look back over the year and recognizes a few of its key partners:

Flexfab, a manufacturer based in Hastings, MI, received the 2018 Employer of the Year award due to their dedication to developing their current workforce, engaging future manufacturing talent and recruiting diverse employees. Flexfab is committed to providing education and training so their workers can obtain higher paying jobs within the company. They also work with local organizations, like Barry County Veterans associations, to target a diverse job seeker pool.

Literacy Center of West Michigan (LCWM) is West Michigan Works! 2018 Partner of the Year. They received this award because they successfully use community partnerships to create positive change. LCWM has partnered with the local construction industry, Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) and the Urban League to provide workplace English as a Second Language instruction for participants in the construction training program. They also provide literacy services at one of West Michigan Works! service centers. Providing instruction like this to job seekers helps remove language barriers and can help them obtain further training, education and/or a good job.

The Michigan Works! Impact Awards honor those who have built economic results by actively creating jobs and developing fresh talent in their communities. In West Michigan, Spectrum Health, GRCC and Sterile Processing Technician, Gina Mancha, received the 2018 Impact Award. To address a common need in the health care field, West Michigan Works! partnered with health care employers, GRCC and the US Department of Labor to create the Sterile Processing Technician Registered Apprentice program. Through this program, Gina was able to learn a new skill and start a new career after working for years in automotive manufacturing.

Want to learn more about how the Sterile Processing Technician Registered Apprentice program changed Gina’s life and how the other 2018 award winners are making an impact in West Michigan? Check out West Michigan Works! Annual Report.