Moving Out into the World – A Success Story

William smiles for the camera as he works on a car.

William came to Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! as a participant in one of our Soft Skills classes in the Spring of 2019.  We enrolled William in the beginning of May as an In-School Youth after discussing opportunities for advancement through our programs and services. 

William, accustomed to working independently, had been homeschooled for years. When he wasn’t completing schoolwork, he was helping his family make ends meet by working multiple jobs, including tutoring and teaching others how to ski. 

While William was enrolled as a participant with Michigan Works!, he was also enrolled in three classes through the CCISD. He was learning about welding, automotive repair, and construction. Through his automotive repair class, William became interested in pursuing a career in the automotive sector. Knowing where his interests were, Michigan Works! facilitated a work-based learning opportunity with Keweenaw Automotive where William detailed and repaired vehicles. His work-based learning eventually turned into flexible employment that was adjusted to accommodate his class schedule when school started again in the Fall of 2019.  

During the 2019-2020 school year, William enrolled in three courses with the CCISD again: welding, automotive, and construction. By this time, he had solidified his interest in automotive repair as a career path. When schools changed and pivoted to remote learning, William was able to continue to work on one of the projects he enjoyed in his construction class. They were building a tiny house, in which William created the drawings and dimensions required to build the cabinetry.  

Today, William is a graduate of Chassell Schools. In the near future, though, he will be continuing his education at Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minnesota. Until school officially starts, he will be working for his current employer, Marilyn Swift, completing landscaping and assorted home tasks.  

When we first met William, he didn’t have a plan and was in need of assistance. Now, he has a diverse resume, a foundation in his field of choice, and a path to get ready to win!

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