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Capital area economic development successes honored by state leaders, workforce experts

Monday, June 06, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Eric Dimoff
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Lt. Gov. Brian Calley joins area lawmakers in celebrating local talent, prosperity efforts

Capital region economic development and employment successes were among those celebrated by state leaders at the Michigan Works! Impact Awards in May 2016.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley joined local lawmakers and statewide talent development officials in recognizing Capital Area Michigan Works!’ partnership with the Lansing School District and Cristo Rey Community Center to transform the lives of local students like Dameika Merriwether as well as area resident Cindy Disbrow and KIRCHHOFF Van-Rob, a Tier 1 auto supplier.

Merriwether participated in the agencies’ jointly-operated youth program, which offers resources and support to help young people, ages 14–24, who face significant barriers to success in the labor market. Through the program, she began breaking through numerous stereotypes. She plans to continue her education and become a family lawyer.

“When we do economic growth right, we create opportunities for everyone,” said State Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. (D-East Lansing). “The program created here in Lansing is a stellar example of how strong leadership can deliver compelling results at both micro and macro levels.”

State Rep. Andy Schor (D-Lansing) concurred.

“Local leaders have used the best tools their organizations have to offer to deliver remarkable outcomes for local youth,” Rep. Schor said. “Their work offers a positive example for others in Michigan and across the U.S. to follow.”

KIRCHHOFF Van-Rob established a second location — and 125 new jobs — in the Greater Lansing region during 2015.

The company sought the support of Michigan Works!, training 40 new workers with the support of Skilled Trades Training Fund dollars. Capital Area Michigan Works! also provides Dislocated Worker, On-the-Job Training and WIOA assistance to the company.

Area resident Cindy Disbrow was determined to become part of the company’s new operation and came to Capital Area Michigan Works! to gain the skills and support she’d need. With the agency’s assistance, she became a KIRCHHOFF Van-Rob employee.

“Capital Area Michigan Works! is meeting the demands of area employers and transforming the region’s economy one job at a time," said State Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge). "Its partnership with area employers is producing tremendous success stories we can all be proud of.”

The Impact Awards are an opportunity for state leaders to recognize the economic development success being achieved in communities across Michigan. Dozens of honorees from across the state received awards presented by their local lawmakers and state workforce development officials.

Award winners included employers, workers, Michigan Works! Agencies, and partners from across the state.

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