Diving Into the Workforce - Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!

JULY 2014
Operated Locally by the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board
Diving Into the Workforce
Roseville Service Center
Submitted by Tiffany Banks
Inside This Issue
In July of 2013, Alexis Jones enrolled in the
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Youth Employment Program (YEP) operated at the Roseville Michigan Works! Service Center. She was
tired of being unemployed and sought out the
youth program to teach her the skills that
would help her secure stable employment.
Alexis attended many workshops and learned
about résumé writing, how to successfully
complete job applications, job search techniques, business etiquette, interview skills and
Soon after Alexis completed the various workshops she was offered a Paid Work Experience
(PWE) at TJ Maxx in Roseville. With wages subsided with WIA youth funds for a predetermined duration, the employer provides a job
that gives the youth an opportunity to explore
a career, gain exposure to the world of work
and increase skills. In this case, Alexis learned
about the fast paced field of retail as well as
other valuable skills that she could use to
strengthen her résumé and become more marketable in other lines of work. Alexis was able
to enhance her problem solving, teamwork
and communication skills during her PWE.
Alexis successfully completed the PWE and
was hired part-time by TJ Maxx.
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A month later, Alexis decided that she needed
increased hours and wanted to find a second
place of employment. She was able to secure
another part-time employment opportunity
with Tim Horton’s Coffee and Bake Shop.
Alexis found herself very satisfied with her new
position and was noticed immediately by management and other staff. Richard Lafeir,
Alexis Jones
Regional General Manager of Tim Horton’s, offered his view of the Michigan
Works! Youth Program and its affect on
Alexis. “We have been able to utilize the
skills Alexis acquired through Michigan
Works! [as well as her] dedication and
strong work ethic to make her a valuable
member of our team.”
Alexis is now employed full-time at Tim
Horton’s and is grateful for the opportunity offered through her involvement
with the WIA youth program. Her long
term goal is to work in a secretarial position but for now says, “ I have had the
opportunity to learn many things in the
program that allowed me to not only set
employment goals but also gave me the
tools to follow through with them.”
Life is Better With Music
Clinton Township Service Center
Submitted by Terry Logan
As a dedicated music and band teacher,
Lissa Volz spent 27 years doing what she
loved; working with students and fostering
their love of music. After 24 years of
teaching for Mount Clemens Community
Schools she was laid off in December of
2013, with only 3 years remaining to qualify for 30 year retirement benefits.
With unemployment benefits exhausted
and still job searching, Lissa completed the
application for cash assistance with the
Department of Human Services. As a single parent and the wage earner for her
household, she was on the verge of losing
her home and had shut-off notices on utilities. Successfully completing activities
required during the Application Eligibility
Period (AEP) Lissa was enrolled in the Partnership, Accountability, Training and
Hope (PATH) program at Clinton Township. She was not sure what to expect
from the program, but was open to workshops and job referrals, even applying to
the part-time babysitter position at the
service center to help support herself and
Lissa stated that prior to attending PATH
she had submitted numerous résumés but
schools were not hiring. First priority for
PATH Case Manager Terry Logan was to
assist Lissa with rewriting the résumé she
had been using. At five pages long listing a
27 year work history plus references, employers were likely finding it overwhelming
and passing it over. The case manager suggested choosing a different format that
highlighted her accomplishments, teaching
experience, and reduced the length. In addition to the one-one assistance, Lissa attended the Professional Résumé workshop
and several other career workshops offered
by Michigan Works! staff.
Lissa Volz
With her new résumé Lissa obtained an
interview with South Lake Schools and a job
offer followed. Lissa has signed a contract
to begin the 2014/15 school year as the
band instructor for South Lake High School.
She is happy to continue her passion for
teaching music and has been busy this summer with band camp, rehearsals, and parent meets.
Lissa stated, “Michigan Works! employees
gave me the confidence I needed and
tweaked my skills to land the perfect job for
me. When I doubted myself they gave me
the courage to keep going, to seek out possible solutions, to think “outside the box.”
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
Helps Establish New Career
Warren Service Center
Submitted by Amy LeeDee
My name is Krystal Simpson. I am a wife and mother of four who was comfortable working eleven
years for one of America’s largest banks. I was taken out of my comfort zone as I saw changes occurring within my facility.
Being aware of the changing environment at work I decided to stop by a local Community College to see what options I
had. Before I knew it I had registered for classes. A couple of months later came the notice and severance package advising
that our building was closing, due to outsourcing. We had options to stay with the company and same department,
but for me those options were not good. I was not willing to relocate my family or take a pay
cut in another department. It wasn’t all bad news though. Due to the reason of our closure,
I was eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. I feel that this situation was
my blessing in disguise. I was able to get assistance from Michigan Works! and TAA to get my
dream career as a nurse. My case manager was great and answered any questions in a timely
fashion and she has checked on me after my graduation. I am now a Licensed Practical Nurse in
the state of Michigan and I am enjoying my new position.
Krystal Simpson, LPN
*Krystal attended LPN training at Oakland University-Riverview Institute. TAA funded tuition,
books, supplies and certification fees related to the training.
Employability Boot Camp For Veterans
Clinton Township Service Center
Submitted by Brooklyn Frontiera
Veigel North America/Mobility Products and Design has been working with Michigan Works!
since December of 2011. They are the creators of driving aides for people with disabilities. Primarily Veigel North America employs production and assembly workers, engineers, sales and
marketing and warehouse employees. In the past Michigan Works! assisted them in posting job
leads, locating talent and providing training dollars to those that qualified.
Most recently in December of 2013, James Morrison; the company’s General Manager reached
out to Brooklyn Frontiera, Business Account Manager in search of a Sales Manager. This position
had been left vacant since November of 2013 and the company had a great need to fill this position, but with the right person.
Jeffrey Clemence
The newest Michigan Works! program- “Employability Boot Camp” offered a fantastic networking opportunity for this opening. Employability Boot Camp was recently created for our Veterans. It offers an intense 5 day workshop helping Veteran job seekers create résumés, cover letters, networking cards, update their social media presence and a very beneficial portion of the
program; mock interview opportunities. Participants were asked to research a position that was
posted through the Business Services Staff and they were told they would be interviewing for
that job during their mock interview.
Jeffrey Clemence, laid off from his family business after 9 years, was on the market looking for a sales position. He was laid off in February of
2014 and within 3 weeks of lay off he was aligned with the Michigan Works! office. Soon after he was invited to participate in the Employability Boot Camp as a U.S. Army Veteran.
He mock interviewed well, was very prepared and was genuinely interested in the position that was posted. He pulled Brooklyn aside to
share some personal experiences and some information that was not on his résumé that was valuable to an employer. She quickly
went back to her desk, wrote up a great reference letter for Jeffrey and sent his résumé along to the General Manager. The employer interviewed him, noticed that he had the necessary skills but would really need to learn some things about their niche market. Jeffrey met Workforce Investment Act (WIA) dislocated worker eligibility for On-the-Job (OJT) training which offered a bit of relief to the employer. An OJT
contract was written for 480 training hours and Jeffrey was hired as a Sales Manager.
Four months to the day of Jeffrey’s lay off, he was employed with Veigel North American/Mobility Products and Design. Both the employer
and Jeffrey are happy with the placement and Jeffrey has been very thankful to the Michigan Works! staff for the opportunities given. He
still volunteers with the Employability Boot Camp Staff – wanting to give back as much as he can.
Justin Glasgow and Francis O’Neal Thomas are two other alumni of Employability Boot Camp
Submitted by Jason Alessandro
Submitted by John Babcock
Mt. Clemens Service Center
Warren Service Center
Justin had many years of experience working in culinary and the
manufacturing industry, but was
unsure on how to market those
skills to employers. Participating
in the Employability Boot Camp,
he was advised it was appropriate
Justin Glasgow
to create more than one résumé
with each targeted toward the specific industry he was applying for. Justin developed multiple versions of his résumé based
on his varied employment background.
Justin has obtained full-time employment as a Sous Chef at
Terry’s Terrace. Using the other résumé formats that he developed for manufacturing positions, he continues to discuss additional job opportunities with employers.
Francis O’Neal Thomas
Francis O’Neal Thomas was working for
a Tier 2 supplier company under a contract assignment. When the contract
assignment ended, Francis came into
Michigan Works! to file for unemployment. Once there, he learned about the
Employability Boot Camp and signed
up immediately.
During boot camp Francis learned how to create a résumé, cover
letter/thank you letter, and new interviewing techniques. By the
end of the week Francis had four job offers.
Francis is now employed full-time with Otto Bock in Rochester Hills
as a Production Supervisor earning $19/hour.
Volunteering Pays Off
Port Huron Service Center
Submitted by Melody Collins
Charlene Burgett
A work history of more than thirty years
as a school bus driver and owner/
operator of an Adult In-Home Service and
Adult Foster Home Care was interrupted
twice when family care required Charlene
to take a leave from her job.
Thank you to the staff of
Michigan Works! for their
customer success story
submissions. Each month,
staff members that submit
a success story will be
entered in a drawing to win
a $25 gift card!
Once back in a position to return to work,
a friend referred Charlene to Michigan
Works! Charlene said, “ I knew I didn’t
want to go back to health care or driving a
school bus, so Employment Services (ES)
staff assisted me with putting together
two résumés, one for my background in
health care and a separate one in customer service.” She said, “ I was able to
use my life skills to create effective
résumés in both areas.”
While working on job search activities,
Charlene was recruited for the Senior
Community Service Employment Program
(SCSEP). This program provides part-time
work and job training in community service activities for income eligible
individuals 55 years of age or older. As an
eligible candidate, SCSEP offered Charlene
paid wages while learning new work skills
and a support system to assist her in gaining experience and skills to transition to
employment. With her friendly and professional attitude, Charlene was placed
with ES staff to assist with customer service for individuals visiting the service center.
During this time, Charlene was also able
to volunteer occasionally at Blue Water
Habitat Restore. Her volunteering efforts
along with her customer service skills paid
off with the offer of employment when a
permanent position became available.
This is a great example that volunteering
is a successful job search skill.
June’s Winner
Jennifer Kimm
Business Account Manager
Warren Service Center
Thank you for supporting the
mission of the
Macomb/St. Clair Workforce
Development Board, Inc.