Michigan Works Association Recognizes Impact of Readiness Resources

LANSING, MI — The Michigan Works! Impact Awards honor those who’ve built tangible economic results by creating jobs and developing talent in their communities. The yearly event, where the awards are bestowed, brings lawmakers and economic achievers together for a unique look at the work that is transforming Michigan’s economic vitality.

This year, Michigan Works! Southwest and Chantz Royston-Bennett were recognized with an Impact Award.

Chantz’s Story

When Chantz enrolled in Michigan Works! services, he was already in an alternative school after being disconnected from secondary education. He was deficient in basic math skills, unemployed and had minimal employment history.

This is not an uncommon trope – barriers do not just affect one aspect of life; they have a way of inhibiting success in many areas.

The staff at Michigan Works! Southwest encouraged Chantz to make his education a priority and he began taking tutoring assistance. After getting a handle on his education, Chantz completed employability skills training where he was exposed to valuable job search techniques.

“As a young, independent adult, I needed guidance and help to succeed,” Royston-Bennet said. “Michigan Works! Southwest did just that. I was looking for a career and Donny Herber helped me push for success and opened my eyes to a better life.”

After being referred to the Vision for Prosperity Apprenticeship readiness training for the skilled trades field, he graduated from high school, applied to the apprenticeship program and was accepted. His career pathway was leading him to success whether he knew it or not.

Upon completing the program, Chantz was offered an apprenticeship with the Local 2 Bricklayers.

Michigan Works! Southwest presented Chantz with the opportunities available through partnering agencies and as such, he has gone on to be a shining example of how career pathway systems lead to prosperous communities.