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Work Experience Program Leads to Full-time Jobs for JMG Students

Work experience opportunities led to full-time jobs for two local Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) students. Ryan LaVanway and Jared Piechan were connected with local employers through JMG, which is offered to students in the Char-Em ISD’s Welding program at East Jordan and Pellston High Schools.

LaVanway, a recent East Jordan graduate, plans to attend Ferris State University and study Plastic Engineering. He was looking for a work experience opportunity in his chosen field. With help from JMG Specialist, Aaron Sue Meyer, he found that opportunity at A.L.P., a plastics manufacturing company in Charlevoix. At the end of the work experience program, A.L.P. decided to keep Ryan on their payroll for the rest of the summer in the Plastic Engineering Department. They have also discussed having him back next summer as an intern after he completes a year of college.

"Aaron Sue and JMG connected me with industries involving my future career, which served as a huge stepping stone for bigger and better opportunities,” said LaVanway. “Thanks again for all your help and support!"

When Jared Piechan completed his welding work experience at DCL, a Charlevoix manufacturing company, he was also offered a full-time position. The company plans to keep him working part-time when he returns to East Jordan High School in the fall for his senior year.

"Without the help of Aaron Sue and the JMG program, I would have never had the chance to get the welding experience so early on in my life,” said Piechan. “Getting a job doing what I like so much would never have happened without the help of JMG." 

“The goal for these students placed on work experiences was to get them exposed and experienced in a "real world" level of work and assist them with their future goals,” said Meyer. “We had great companies to collaborate with to help fill the skilled trades gap and support our students with their goals.” 

JMG helps Michigan's young adults graduate and make successful transitions to postsecondary education or meaningful employment. Northwest Michigan Works! coordinates JMG programs at the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District, the Traverse Bay Area ISD Career-Tech Center, and the Wexford-Missaukee Career Tech Center.