PATH Program Creates Hope for Participants
West Michigan Works! partners with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to help individuals receiving state assistance discover and meet their career needs and goals.
The PATH (Partnership. Accountability. Training. and Hope) program helps participants create an individualized career plan, set goals and take steps toward making their plan a reality.
PATH graduate, Shutaveya, is a single mother who worked hard to own a car and a home. When family circumstances led to her leaving a job she loved, she was connected to West Michigan Works! through the PATH program.
West Michigan Works! understands that it can be hard to ask for help, and they want participants to know they are not alone on their journey. Participants, like Shutaveya, work closely with a career coach who is there to support them throughout the program.
“I was just really lost. So, I went to West Michigan Works! I remember the first day I got there, I didn’t talk to anyone. I was really embarrassed… The people that work there were kind and didn’t judge me… And it just made me feel like, ‘ok, I can do this.’”
– Shutaveya, PATH graduate
The first step for individuals in the PATH program is to identify and address challenges or barriers that prevent them from finding and maintaining employment. Shutaveya faced a lot of the common challenges like obtaining reliable transportation, work clothing, a valid driver’s license, auto insurance and more. West Michigan Works! helped her overcome those barriers so she could maintain employment.
Once participants are addressing barriers to employment, they will work to set and meet career goals through a variety of activities, like:
- Exploring careers based on skills and interests.
- Identifying skills needed to pursue a specific career.
- Continuing education to obtain these skills and/or complete a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Learning important employability skills through free workshops.
- Searching for work.
West Michigan Works! walks alongside PATH participants like Shutaveya to help them make a plan, reach their goals and create stability for their families.
Meet Shutaveya and hear her story.