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Workforce Development Division

 

Ask any business what keeps them up at night, and more than likely they will say workforce talent. Our workforce development division creates, develops, and delivers exceptional workforce solutions with an eye on building the pipeline of future workers.

Here's how we do it.

Michigan Works! Service Centers – recruiters and career coaches to serve job seekers
Jobs for Michigan's Graduates - statewide dropout prevention program
Bridge Academy - an innovative year-round learning community that provides training and education to refocused young adults
YouthBuild – an earn and learn program for youth in the construction and health care industries
Adult Education – an opportunity to earn a GED or high school diploma
Summer Youth – connecting motivated students with regional employers for internships

Meet our business customers and learn more about how Kinexus helps them succeed.

 

Michigan Works

Michigan Works! Service Centers

The Michigan Works! service centers house teams of recruiters and career coaches. These folks get up in the morning excited to discover and develop talent to meet the needs of local employers. The service centers provide a place where jobseekers can search for jobs, learn about careers in fields that are hiring, and access education and training opportunities to build their workplace skills. For more information on the service centers, or to connect to our jobseeker services from home, click here.

Each Michigan Works! service center has conference and larger meetings rooms available to the community for a small fee. If you're looking for a room to host a community meeting, a workshop, or other event, please contact Paula Polaskey, paulao@kinexus.org, or 269.927.1064 x1102.

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Jobs for Michigan's Graduates

Jobs for Michigan's Graduates

We know that the likelihood of a young person participating in the workforce and contributing to the local economy is higher if he or she has a high school diploma. That's why we brought Jobs for Michigan's Graduates programs to our local high schools. Jobs for Michigan's Graduates is a statewide dropout prevention program. Its aim is to keep low income youth in school, while developing academic and employability skills. By removing barriers to education and employment, Jobs for Michigan's Graduates increases student engagement and prepares students to earn and keep a job. Locally, there are Jobs for Michigan's Graduates programs in Benton Harbor and Ross Beatty high schools and at the Bridge Academy. About 200 youth are served per year with an average retention rate of 90 percent.

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Bridge Academy

Bridge Academy

The Bridge Academy is our innovative year-round learning center that provides training and education to refocused young adults (ages 16-24). It was started in 2010 because too many students were dropping out of school prematurely with little hope of ever earning a sustainable wage.

The Bridge Academy environment replicates the workplace using project-based learning and a promotion structure. Every student begins as an entry-level trainee and works at his or her own pace to be promoted to lead, supervisor, manager, and finally, director trainee—all while simultaneously working to complete their GEDs or high school diplomas.

Additional specialty skills training in the high-demand industries of construction/skilled trades, healthcare, hospitality/retail and manufacturing prepares students for future success in the local workforce after their formal education is complete.

Meet students and staff on the Academy's Facebook page. Enrollment takes place at the Bridge Academy (777 Riverview Drive, Benton Harbor) Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Contact the Bridge Academy at 269.277.5122.

Pipeline Results:
  • More than 150 high school diplomas or GEDs earned
  • More than 135 students have gained employment
  • More than 460 industry recognized certifications have been earned
  • More than 75 drivers licenses or permits have been earned

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YouthBuild

YouthBuild

We've found that a clear career path and some confidence is all some high school dropouts need to reengage in education and join the workforce. Participants in YouthBuild earn GEDs and gain paid training experience in construction, and, in some cases, healthcare. As trainees build their knowledge in the classroom, they improve the community on their worksites. The current YouthBuild team will fully renovate two abandoned homes in Benton Harbor. As the participants work, they'll learn a variety of construction skills, including framing, plumbing, electric, drywall, and siding. In the process, they build a voluble set of soft skills such as teamwork, accountability, and punctuality. When the houses are finished, they'll be sold to past graduates of the Bridge Academy, Michigan Works! alternative school, and other first time home owners.

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Adult Education logo

Adult Education

Education is key to opening the door to a living wage and consistent employment. In today's workplace, a GED or high school diploma is an absolute must. Our Adult Education program prepares students to pass the five tests required to earn a GED: reading, math, language, social studies, and science. Each student is on an individualized study plan based on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) assessment. Students work at their own pace in our learning lab utilizing various computer programs, textbooks, worksheets, one-on-one help and small group instruction. Resources to help students work on their GED preparation from home are also available. The Adult Education learning lab is located in the Bridge Academy at 777 Riverview Drive in Benton Harbor. The hours of operation are Monday and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please call the Bridge Academy at 269.277.5122 to inquire about the next orientation date. Stay connected to adult education on Facebook.

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Summer Youth

A summer job is a rite of passage. It's where students first learn employer expectations, accountability, and discover their passions. Our summer youth initiative connects students with local employers for paid work experiences. To see what kind of work our youth do on their summer vacations, watch this video.

 

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