Michigan Works! Southwest Announces Neighborhood Employment Hubs in Battle Creek

Battle Creek, MI (March 29, 2018) – Michigan Works! Southwest recently announced a local initiative designed to develop talent and increase the local employment rate by connecting hundreds of Battle Creek residents to training and employment opportunities, through the establishment of Neighborhood Employment Hubs throughout the City of Battle Creek.
      Thanks to a three-year, $2.8 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the leveraging of partnerships with numerous Battle Creek organizations, Michigan Works! Southwest is working to expand the skill set and employability of local talent and connect them with local job opportunities. The Neighborhood Employment Hubs are reflective of the commitment Michigan Works! Southwest has to BCVision, which is a community-driven effort to spark transformation in Battle Creek and improve economic conditions for residents.
      “Through the development of Neighborhood Employment Hubs, accomplished by co-location with three organizations throughout the City of Battle Creek, as well as within the county jail, Michigan Works! Southwest is striving to achieve equitable outcomes for residents by increasing access to employment and decreasing barriers for unemployed and underemployed individuals,” said Michigan Works! Southwest Director, Ben Damerow.
Michigan Works! Southwest is partnering with Kellogg Community College and Goodwill Industries to build and implement this neighborhood based model of career readiness, employment coaching, supportive services and connections to employment and training.  “Our first priority is to help remove barriers that prevent individuals from gaining employment, followed by a focus on their career development. Services available at the Employment Hubs will begin upon an individual’s first visit to the location most conveniently located and accessible for them,” explained Barbara Travis, Neighborhood Employment Hub Coordinator.  


The Neighborhood Employment Hubs are located at

  • New Level Ministries located at 400 W. Michigan Avenue, with an Employment Specialist available from 1pm-6pm on Monday and Friday; 9am-12pm and 4:30pm-6:00pm on Tuesday and Thursday; 1:00pm-4:00pm on Wednesday; and 9:00am- 2pm on Saturday; and


  • Parkway Manor located at 380 Truth Drive, with an Employment Specialist available from 9am-12pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 1pm-4pm on Tuesday and Thursday; and


  • Community Action located at 169 Main Street., with an Employment Specialist available Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:30pm.


      An additional Employment Hub is located within the Calhoun County Jail. Individuals who are incarcerated and in need of assistance, prior to their release, will be referred to an Employment Specialist, who will meet with them at the jail. The Employment Specialist will provide job readiness and career pathways guidance, as well as work with the individuals on job placement strategies and the establishment of training opportunities post incarceration, to ensure success upon release.


      “The Battle Creek Housing Commission is delighted with the opportunity to join Michigan Works! Southwest by utilizing its Parkway Manor Community Building as a Neighborhood Employment Hub.  We look forward to seeing how this community collaboration will bring hope and stability to families, and strengthen local businesses,” said Lee Talmage, Executive Director of Battle Creek Housing Commission. 


      Employment Specialists working at each Employment Hub will develop action plans customized to remove barriers, build skills and gain employment that will serve as a guide for the services each individual receives.  It is estimated that the Employment Hubs will serve at least 700 adults over the next three years. 

About Michigan Works!

Michigan Works! Southwest specializes in talent development strategies with services tailored to meet the needs of both employers and job seekers. Additional services can be accessed at the Michigan Works! Southwest Service Center in Battle Creek, located at 200 W. Van Buren. Information is also available online at the Michigan Works! Southwest website www.michiganworkssouthwest.org . To find other Michigan Works! locations within the state of Michigan visit www.michiganworks.org  or call (1-800) 285-WORKS (9675).


About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.


The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.