News and Success Stories


Lay-Off Assistance Leads to Graduating with Honors and New Employment

At the time of Rexam’s closing in Constantine, Bruce was making $21.50 per hour. He, both a husband and father, was left unsure of what to pursue as a stable career that could support his family. Due to his lay-off, he was referred to Michigan Works! Southwest for services. Staff provided him with

At Your Desktop Training

From Bistro Server to Assistant Director

Latonya first visited the Michigan Works! Southwest Service Center in Kalamazoo in October of 2018.

Local Veteran Gives Back to At-Risk Youth

After losing his job as a part-time cashier at the Army base in Battle Creek, Ray began visiting the Michigan Works! Southwest Service Center almost every day, spending hours researching companies and applying for open positions. Though he was hesitant at first to receive one-on-one assistance from

16 Kalamazoo County Residents Graduate from Pre-Apprenticeship Training

In early May of 2019, the Vision for Prosperity Apprenticeship Readiness Training Program, designed to address the need for skilled workers in construction trades, celebrated the graduation of their first cohort, comprised of 16 individuals from the Kalamazoo area, at a luncheon and graduation ceremony held at the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 357 Training Center in Schoolcraft.

Meet One-on-One with Federal, State and Local Government Purchasers Contracting with the City of Kalamazoo

The Southwest Michigan Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is hosting a regional ‘Meet the Buyer’ event to educate companies on how to do business with government purchasers.

13th Annual Calhoun County Legislative Breakfast

Ben Damerow, Michigan Works! Southwest Director, participated on the panel of the 13th Annual Calhoun County Legislative Breakfast.

Gov. Whitmer creates new Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity

Michigan Works! Southwest Director, Ben Damerow, joined the Governor’s signing of an executive order creating the new Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, a re-organization of the Department of Talent and Economic Development. Read more here!

Burning Glass Analytics and Real Time Jobs Data Report for Michigan Works! Southwest

Nontraditional Apprenticeships – a Win-Win for Employers and Job Seekers

In an ongoing effort to offer customized solutions for employers’ hiring needs, Michigan Works! Southwest staff have been dedicated to the creation and implementation of innovative, non-traditional apprenticeship training programs.

Ashley Iovieno, Business Services Coordinator, participated in the Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) NLN Summit

Ashley Iovieno, Business Services Coordinator for Michigan Works! Southwest, participated in the Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) NLN Summit on May 6 with close to 80 attendees from 16 states.

Road Commission of Kalamazoo County honored with two IMPRESS Awards at CRA’s 2019 Highway Conference

The Road Commission of Kalamazoo County (RCKC) took home two IMPRESS Awards at the County Road Association (CRA) of Michigan’s statewide 2019 Highway Conference in March.

2017/18 Annual Report

“Michigan Works! Southwest has been a vital partner in increasing our business outreach strategies. They have assisted us in finding much-needed talent within our community and providing support during the implementation of our Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program…”

“Training program seeks to prepare Kalamazoo residents for apprenticeships” MLive

“KALAMAZOO, MI — Michigan Works of Southwest Michigan is taking applications for Vision for Prosperity, a program designed to help Kalamazoo County residents qualify for apprenticeships.”

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