A young man on a ladder holding a bucket in his left hand and applying materials to cinder blocks with a paint brush with his left hand.

Eager to Learn – A Success Story

This story is part of the UPward Talent Council – Michigan Works! Success Story series

Jared’s mother had called the Michigan Works! American Job Center to inquire if they assisted with in-school youth employment opportunities. Jared, who had spent the prior summer working with SAIL maintaining the school grounds, was just finishing his junior year in high school. During the present summer, Jared wanted to explore the construction field. Knowing that, Michigan Works! staff set up an appointment for Jared and his mother to visit the American Job Center to discuss his eligibility for WIOA In-School Youth services.

Upon speaking with Jared and his mother, he was found to be eligible for WIOA services. We completed his enrollment and began to search for a construction opportunity that was right for Jared. Our Business Services staff located a construction company in the area that was willing to take on a young individual in a work-based learning opportunity. The employer provided Jared with training in the construction field, with a concentration in mason tending. Jared worked 40 hours per week at a fair wage for two months during the summer, where he gained meaningful experience in construction.

During his work-based learning, the Michigan Works! employee working with Jared, and Jared’s employer, worked with him on safety best practices. Jared was given tasks that did not require intensive supervision, and then he slowly worked on larger tasks. The opportunity proved to be a positive experience for both Jared and the employer.

After a rocky start to Jared’s work-based learning experience, it ended on a positive note. Jared, at the time of writing this, is now a senior in high school and is interested in furthering his career in the construction field once he graduates. Feedback from the work-based learning employer was positive, with the employer saying, “Jared is making satisfactory progress and is learning new skills due to observation, one-on-one focus, and training. I have no concerns and was very impressed with the program.”