Learning, Working, and Starting a Career – A Success Story

Nick stands in front of a CNC machine at work.

Nick was stuck. He had taken a few classes at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, but nothing really interested him. His first goal was to join the military, but he had a barrier and could not get into his desired branch and occupation.

Leaving his military ambitions behind, Nick began working two food service jobs and one janitorial job, but he had an interest in engineering-type careers. He was struggling to figure out how to get into a different occupation. He was busy working three jobs and was held back by a limited income.

One day, Nick was told about a pre-apprenticeship opportunity in manufacturing through Bay Mills Community College. He kept all three jobs while attending classes. To meet all his obligations, he would get up at 6 AM to work his janitorial job, head off to class, then immediately go to one of his other two jobs afterward.

When the pandemic hit, he lost his restaurant and cleaning jobs. He continued to deliver pizzas while completing his year-long manufacturing pre-apprenticeship. When he graduated from Bay Mills Community College, he was provided another educational opportunity in an advanced manufacturing program through Navajo State University. It was an intensive eight-week program that provided him with a stipend to attend due to the highly-demanding work involved.

Once he graduated, he had the training, but did not have the experience. This is where UP Michigan Works! (UPMW) came in. He contacted UPMW and enrolled in their On-the-Job Training (OJT) program. Michigan Works! met with Precision Edge, a local manufacturer, and was able to place him into a CNC programming position that paid more and had opportunities for advancement. He loves his job and wants to make Precision Edge his long-term employer.

Through positive reinforcement, and by guiding Nick to the right opportunity, UPMW got him Ready to Win!

Click this link for more information about UP Michigan Works! job seeker services.