Man in a blue jacket instructing two high school-aged men while they wear safety glasses and hard hats at a Professional Trades Career Day.

Professional Trades Career Days is your chance to work with hands-on demonstrations, learning how you can enter fields where you will earn sustainable wages in long-term employment opportunities.

All ages of the general public are invited to explore exciting career opportunities at the Marquette County Fairgrounds from 2:30-5:30 PM on September 25th, 2019 during the U.P. Professional Trades Career Days!

If you’re interested in the trades, you’re invited! This event is open to all, including middle school students, homeschooled youth, recent high school graduates, and working professionals looking for a change. All minors will need a guardian’s signature to participate.

This event is sponsored by the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency, the Upper Peninsula Construction Council, the UPward Talent Council – Michigan Works!, and the State of Michigan’s Workforce Development Agency.

If participants have questions about the event, please contact Jim Yates at 906-226-5147 or Vendors, please contact Tony Retaskie at 906-786-1573 or if you are interested in attending or assisting with the event. 

Two Seasonal Jobs, Full-Year Employment

Mike sitting in a small snow removal vehicle on a city street with snow on the ground in the background.

Michael operated a re-sale shop in Newberry, MI until it went out of business in 2017. After his store closed, he supported himself by working a part-time job at a local sporting goods store. 

Michael, while working at the sporting goods store, visited MI Works!, and his visit led to him being enrolled in the WIOA Adult program in 2018.  After working with a staff member, he was approved for classroom training assistance and attended Midwest Truck Driving School’s 160-hour Class A CDL truck driving course. He excelled in class and obtained his Class A CDL.

In December of the same year, Michael began working for the Village of Newberry as a Snowplow Driver.  He performed so well that he received a raise shortly after his start date. 

Michael continued to search for work because the aforementioned job was seasonal. His Michigan Works! Case Worker assisted by providing job referrals and resume assistance. 

Eventually, Michael accepted a seasonal Heavy Equipment Operator position with the Luce County Road Commission.  In this position, he was working 40 hours per week at a fair wage.  Michael plowed snow for the Village of Newberry in the Winter and operated heavy equipment for the Luce County Road Commission in the Summer and Fall. 

Michael says, “I enjoy the work I am doing, and I would like to thank Michigan Works! for helping me get over my employment setback and helping me return to work (full-time)”. 

Helping Find Substitute Teachers for an Upper Peninsula School System

Teacher standing in front of a wall covered in elementary school wall decorations and calendars.

The WillSub recruiting event was a success! The event took place at the Hancock Michigan Works! American Job Center and was held from 8:30 – 11:30 AM.

The traffic included about 10 interested candidates and resulted in several follow up interviews. One candidate has been hired, one has an application in progress, and another is ready for submittal.

Michigan Works! provided a room for the event as well as refreshments. We also supported the advertising of the event by posting their event link on our social media, creating a promotional flyer, and advertising the event in our American Job Center.

Stop into an American Job Center to see how Michigan Works! can assist you in your search for qualified employees.

Join the Team Building the New Soo Lock

Visitors standing on the observation deck at the Soo Locks Park watching a white and red freighter pass through the Soo Locks.

Are you interested in working on a project vital to the U.S. economy and our national security? Have you been wanting to gain stability, a second career, or retirement benefits? If you answered, “yes,” we’ve found an opportunity built for you.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is looking for highly-skilled civilians to engage in the building of the new #SooLock project. Apply to be a part of the expansion of an international construction feat.

Please see USAJobs for full job descriptions and any current positions open at the Soo Locks. Positions available may include those in Administration, Engineering, and more.

For more information about opportunities, visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect and search for postings in zip code 49783 using “U.S. Army Corps of Engineers” as your keyword.

If you are interested in the following positions, please send your resume to today. A representative from the USACE will be in contact with you if you qualify for the position you have applied for, and are eligible. They will offer guidance pertaining to the application process on USAJobs.

Five kayakers paddling next to a large brown and white freighter in the St. Marys River.
Start a second career in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Time to Hit the Open Road

David sits in a NMU training semi truck looking at the cameraperson taking his picture.

A Success Story

David came into Michigan Works! after being laid off. David was let go from his previous position where he worked for the past five years earning a fair wage.

David attended RESEA (Re-employment Services and Eligibility Assessment) and learned about the different services and resources available to Job Seekers like himself. David enrolled in the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) Dislocated Worker program and was approved to go to CDL Training at Northern Michigan University.

Congratulations to David and all of our Success Stories! Come to Michigan Works! in the Upper Peninsula to learn more about our programs and services.

ESS Michigan/WillSub Hiring Subs in the Central U.P.

Head shots of multiple children from different backgrounds looking at the camera and smiling.

Join us at this event if you are interested in substitute Teaching and Paraprofessional positions!

ESS Michigan/WillSub will be in the Hancock and Marquette American Job Centers (AJC) searching for the next, great group of Substitutes on August 27th, 2019.

From 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM, representatives will be at the Hancock AJC, and from 2:00 to 5:00 PM, they will be at the Marquette AJC.

We hope to see you there!

For more information about the UPward Talent Council – Michigan Works!, please visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @UPMichiganWorks.

LiftUP – Business Resource Network Interview with TV 6

Jim Huff, BRN Manager being interviewed on TV6. Closeup.

Thank you for the feature, Upper Michigan’s Source!

Click this link to watch the video featuring Jim Huff, the LiftUP – Business Resource Network Manager.

The LiftUp – Business Resource Network is a service offered by the UPward Talent Council – Michigan Works! geared towards increasing employee retention and engagement.

For businesses who are interested in utilizing the Business Resource Network, email or call 906-629-1161.

A Former Corporate President Stays Engaged In Business While Enjoying A Healthier Lifestyle In The U.P.

Jim Huff and his dog sitting on the porch of their home.

Story via on 8/12/19

UPPER PENINSULA (August 12, 2019) – According to a survey completed by retirement-planning website, 86% of business professionals plan on working after they qualify for retirement. Instead of golf and shuffleboard, individuals are now finding a second career and looking for a new location that offers a higher quality of life.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is attracting a generation of professionals and finding them more personally fulfilling work. Not only is the U.P. a great place for retirees but it is a great place for all generations of workers at any stage of their career. The U.P. blends an easy-going lifestyle with job opportunities where people can apply their expertise by being a part of mentorships, coaching, and working in organizations. This generation is realizing they can still make a significant impact helping a multitude of generations without the traditional pressures from their first career.

Just ask Jim Huff. Huff is a former president of a manufacturing company in mid-Michigan where he worked for over 30 years. Looking for a healthier work-life balance, he relocated to the U.P. and is now living what he describes as a dream.

Immediately after landing in the U.P., and fixing up his camp, Huff quickly found himself working with similar business challenges but under much less pressure. Today he manages a program for MI Works! Upward Talent Council ( that allows him flexibility, and the opportunity to network with CEOs and business owners to help retain and attract talent – an issue he is familiar with after a long career running a successful company. Huff can relate to U.P. business owners and they can relate to him, creating a win-win in the Upper Peninsula.

Instead of working long hours, Huff now spends more time at his 112-acre camp hunting, fishing, and watching the sunsets. He explains, “Living in the U.P. allows me to “work-to-live” instead of “live-to-work”.  I can stay engaged with great people, in great communities, all of whom are running great businesses.”

Although the U.P. has a growing reputation for opportunity and innovation, one of its greatest draws is still its small-town charm and friendly people. Huff says, “There is a sense of community across the region.  People watch out for each other; it’s something that knits the whole Upper Peninsula together.”

The U.P. is renowned for its wondrous lifestyle, superior beauty, friendly communities and thriving industries. Professionals, like Huff, who live the region:

Love adventure – People living in the U.P. embrace challenge and adventure with resilience and tenacity unlike anywhere else. Maybe it’s the rugged landscape or legendary winter weather, but the U.P. seems to draw people who enjoy new experiences.

Speaking of weather…

Love changing seasons – The four seasons across the U.P. are extreme with America’s most colorful fall, greenest summers and whitest winners. In the winter people in the U.P. are skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and even dog sledding. The rest of the year they’re hiking, fishing, boating, golfing, and exploring the region.  

Spark an entrepreneurial spirit – The region was built on mining and forestry and today leads the world in environmental practices. Beyond the forest, trails, and Great Lakes lies a surprising and robust economy. Tech and STEM companies are spinning out of the region’s universities and the manufacturers are more advanced than ever. These companies and entrepreneurs welcome and appreciate the expertise of people that have a lifetime of experience in their industries and welcome their mentorship.

The cyber economy is not the only industry to have claimed a stake in the region. Advanced manufacturing, defense, aerospace, natural resource and land management, and medical device companies have also found a home in the Upper Peninsula. Industry and population are growing because the lifestyle and views are too spectacular to ignore.

About MI Works! UPward Talent Council

Learn more about Michigan Works! Business Resource Network by visiting and to learn more about UTC Michigan Works! by visiting

Michigan Works! Business Resource Network:

About InvestUP

InvestUP is a private sector-led economic development organization keenly focused on driving economic growth across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Founded by the region’s leading private sector businesses and the region’s universities, its mission is to deliver business and job growth across the peninsula.


Books and a tablet on a classroom desk with the text 5-of-5 overlaid.

Benton Harbor, MI. – For the fourth consecutive year, Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG), the premier program of Youth Solutions Inc., has achieved the “5-of-5” award, bestowed annually by the national affiliated organization, Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG).   

JMG at the statewide level exceeded the “5-of-5” goals for all dropout prevention programming by an average of seven percent, scoring 95% in graduation rate, 67% in total job placement and military service, 85% in positive outcomes (further education, career or military placement), 90% in full-time placement and 76% in full-time jobs.

In addition, 11 area Michigan Works! affiliates also achieved the “5-of-5” award for the school year 2018-2019: Capital Area Michigan Works!, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, GST Michigan Works!, Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren, Michigan Works! Southwest, Networks Northwest, Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium, SEMCA, Michigan Works! Upward Talent, West Michigan Works! and Michigan Works! Southeast. 

Jeff Swears, Board Chairman of Youth Solutions, sees a bright future for JMG. “To receive this award four years in a row is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the staff and youth involved in JMG. We are making a real difference in the lives of 3,000 young people across Michigan, and I am extremely proud of the results we’re seeing,” Swears said.

JMG addresses the concerning trend of underachievement in education and employment by Michigan’s youth and has a track record of unparalleled success in graduation, post-secondary education, and employment outcomes across the state. Using a school-based model that is grounded in success skills training and college/career exposure, JMG provides youth with the resources to prepare, compete and succeed at college, in the military, or at work.

JAG President and CEO, Ken Smith says, “Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates is in the very top tier of all 35 states where Jobs for America’s Graduates operates. They are a role model of success for all of us who are part of the National JAG organization,”

In the past five years, JMG has grown the number of young people served by 530% while exceeding the targeted goals and plans to stay on this successful path for years to come.