Successful ready-to-work program and its graduate win Impact Award


Photos Courtesy of Michigan Works!

by Cynthia Price

“On Day 1 of a new job, employers are throwing information at you and if you don’t know what you’re doing, that can be scary. But I felt like I was prepared. I thought [LINKED Muskegon] was a very very well balanced program,  and the teachers and everybody else were just absolutely amazing,” said Michael Minton of his participation in a program that won an Impact Award for the Muskegon office from the state’s Michigan Works!

Last year, after finishing up his high school career through Orchard View Adult Ed, Minton came to a West Michigan Works! looking for a good job that would lead to a satisfying career.  The agency sent him to the LINKED Muskegon program, which is a joint project of local employers, adult ed programs, the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center and West Michigan Works!

“This program went through all of the basics of the manufacturing trade. It’s comparable to a 101 machining class but they cram it all into 18 weeks,”?Minton said. “They help you to get a good resume and then employers do an open interview.”

He was hired by Muskegon Tool Industries, and West Michigan Works! again helped him by providing on-the-job training funding to get him the specifics of what he needed to know for that particular position.
Tom Wheeler, President of Muskegon Tool Industries, commented in a statement, “It’s nice to be able to hire someone who has beginning machine shop training along with work place social skills. Michael is committed to learning and establishing a career path.”

Minton intends to follow up with additional classes at Muskegon Community College to receive a certificate in CNC machining. He stated, “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.”

At the end of February, local lawmakers came together at the Anderson House Office Building in Lansing with people from Michigan Works! to give Minton, Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (of which Muskegon Area Career Tech Center is a part), Muskegon Tool Industries, Orchard View Community Education, and West Michigan Works! an Impact Award.

 The annual award ceremony honors the finest achievements in workforce development statewide and provides a platform for lawmakers to pay tribute to employers, workers, Michigan Works! agencies, and partners.

State Senator Goeff Hansen attended and commented, “Michigan Works! is a tremendous resource in our community and skilled trades play an important role in both the local and global economy. I offer my congratulations to Muskegon Tool Industries, Michigan Works!, and Michael on their partnership and success.”for a certificate in CNC Programming.

State Representative Terry Sabo added, “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.”

Others interested in participating in the LINKED Muskegon program should visit their local West Michigan Works! office at 316 Morris Ave, downtown Muskegon (phone number 231-724-6381).

“I think that a lot more employers should look into this program because I think a lot more hands need to be on deck,” Minton comments. “A lot of people need something to open up doorways. It gave me pretty much everything I needed to know to get started.”

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