With Ascend, West Michigan Works! provides opportunities for employers to engage with and prepare their future workforce:


What is Ascend?

Ascend, powered by West Michigan Works!, provides opportunities for young adults to explore their interests and build important work skills. With help from local employers, youth gain valuable experience, skills, and knowledge to help them prepare for the world of work!


“We love participating in this program, we think it is great for giving youth work experience and helping our staff improve their training skills.”


Are you a youth looking to join this program?

Learn more


Work Experiences

As a participating employer, you provide the worksite, a meaningful work experience*, supervision and general employment guidance. Youth learn all aspects involved in maintaining employment – showing up on time, working well with others, following directions, dealing with conflict, money management, as well as the specific job skills they will learn within your organization. West Michigan Works! provides support to the youth to ensure a successful experience for both the youth and the employer.

*These jobs may not be substitutes for jobs performed by regular employees.

Work Experiences are six-week paid employment and training opportunities for youth ages 16-24 and are paid for by WMW!, not employees.


Estimated employer time commitment: 6 – 10 weeks

  • Work Experiences provide an opportunity for your organization to complete projects, educate youth about your industry, positively influence youth, develop leadership skills for both your employees and youth, contribute to our region’s economy by helping train the next generation of highly trained workers, and connect with your community.


Work Experiences

Step 2


Determine youth’s summer responsibilities and your scheduling needs

Identify youth’s supervisor

Complete Registration Form

Registration closes: TBD



lunch & Learn webinar series


West Michigan Works! Presents Ascend Program Overview with Samantha Salter.

    West Michigan Works! Presents The Importance of Mentorship: May 19th

    West Michigan Works! Presents Youth Barriers to Employment with Ascend: April 19th 12:30pm