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Innovative State of Michigan program helps participants achieve self-sufficiency and higher wages
January 09, 2024
PATH program provided training and support to more than 8,000 Michiganders in 2023, leads to average wage increase of $2,000 more per year than their peers
LANSING, Mich. — In December 2021, Immanual Jackson became the proud father of twin boys – as well as the main income-earner when his wife was subsequently unable to work. At the time, Immanual was a full-time medical student with a demanding schedule that left little time for work.
Immanual and his wife reached out to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and were placed in the Partnership.Accountability.Training.Hope. (PATH) program through the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).
PATH helps participants obtain and maintain employment, earn wages and develop self-sufficiency by providing work activities, job training and employability skills. These services are administered locally through the corresponding Michigan Works! Service Center.
“Because of my limited free time, Michigan Works! staff were able to accommodate my needs by providing services virtually,” said Immanual. “They even delivered supplies directly to my home when my wife and I were unable to take the boys out.”
In addition to providing Immanual with job training services, PATH staff connected him with additional community resources to help alleviate the needs of his newborns. They were also able to help pay for the scrubs Immanual needed to complete his clinical rounds at various hospitals.
The majority of PATH participants face barriers such as lack of transportation, job search skills, money for work clothes, and childcare. Participants who complete the program earn an average of $2,000 more per year than their peers.
“Michigan’s PATH initiative exemplifies the state’s collaborative efforts across departments to guide Michiganders toward promising careers and provide businesses with the skilled workforce they need to succeed,” said Susan Corbin, LEO Director. “This transformative initiative helps Michiganders bring home bigger paychecks, and propels our workforce and economy toward a brighter, more prosperous future.”
The collaboration between MDHHS and LEO allows the departments to better serve Michiganders by working together to fill the needs of PATH participants. MDHHS provides services to meet the health and wellbeing needs of the participants and their families, while LEO provides job readiness skills and resources to help participants get back to work.
“This partnership with LEO allows MDHHS to meet our goal of providing Michigan residents with easy access to benefits and to services that help them realize their dreams,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “While LEO focuses on helping PATH participants get back to work, MDHHS can work to provide benefits such as food assistance, health care and more.
During fiscal year 2023, the PATH program provided training and supportive services to more than 8,000 individuals across Michigan. More than half of these participants transitioned out of public assistance programs and successfully started new careers.
“Each person faces different obstacles on their career and education pathways,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, Director of LEO’s Office of Employment and Training. “Programs like PATH allow us to work with each participant individually to identify the types of supports needed and connect them to the right resources.
As a result of the collaborative partnerships across the PATH program, Immanual received financial assistance to cover the cost of his latest medical board exam. Immanuel graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in May 2023 and is now a resident physician of internal medicine at University of Michigan Health-West.
PATH program services are provided through the Michigan Works! network. To find your local Michigan Works! Service Center, visit Michigan.gov/MichiganWorks. More information about the program is available at Michigan.gov/PATH.