We have played a pivotal role in Southwest Michigan for over five decades. From the Manpower Act to CETA thru JTPA, the Private Industry Council (PIC) to Michigan Works! and now Kinexus Group, our efforts and services have always focused on driving the economy forward. In the last 50+ years, we have gone from a small federally designated workforce program to a diverse multi-faceted nonprofit organization. The journey started long ago with the belief we could make a difference with economically disadvantaged people. And has grown into a belief we can provide solutions to complex economic challenges facing our region and the state of Michigan. It’s our rich history that compels us to transform the future of our state, our communities and our neighbors.
Think of us as a hub of change agents that connect people, resources, and organizations with strategies and services that make our region, and Michigan, a great place to do business.
– Comprehensive Employment and Training Act was a federal program delivered by state and local governments to train workers and provide them jobs in the public sector or non-profits. The program offered work to those with low incomes and long term unemployed as well as summer jobs for low income high school students.
The Job Training Partnership Act replaced CETA. Federal assistance was provided to regional boards to prepare youth and unskilled adults with training for entry into the private or public workforce. The funding was broken into categories such as adult and youth programs, summer youth, and dislocated workers.
The Michigan Works system, with regional boards made up of elected officials and private sector employers, was the first unified workforce development system in the United States. The system was designed to help employers in local regions, ready to meet the needs of each community in the service area. We operate in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties.
The Berrien, Cass, Van Buren Michigan Works! system becomes Kinexus, a diversified non-profit that provides an array of services. Kinexus is focused on the employer as the main customer. The organization grows to include an alternative school, a statewide affiliate organization Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates, and three Michigan Works Service Centers.
An award winning nonprofit, we widened our footprint to include Youth Solutions, Michigan’s top at risk youth program; a diversified Michigan Works office; and Market Van Buren, an economic development organization for Van Buren County.