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Northeast Talent Development Successes Honored by State Leaders, Workforce Experts


Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist Joins Local Lawmakers in Celebrating Local Talent, Career Development Efforts in Northeast Michigan

LANSING, MI (March 6, 2020)— Northeast Michigan talent development and employment successes were among those celebrated by state leaders at the Michigan Works! Association Impact Awards this week.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, local lawmakers and statewide talent development officials gathered in Lansing on Wednesday, March 4 to recognize local resident Jonathan Werner, as well as Arauco North America and the Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium.

Arauco opened the doors to its new Grayling plant in April 2019, creating 200 new permanent jobs. The company knew their new state-of-the-art plant would require technically skilled workers to be successful, so they came to Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium for help.

The company worked closely with Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium to find and train staff for the new plant. Michigan Works! helped Arauco take advantage of on-the-job training and incumbent worker training while also hosting information sessions and job fairs. In 2018 and 2019, Michigan Works! helped Arauco secure Going PRO Talent Fund grants to train new employees and provide skilled trades training.

“Throughout the entire process, we have been treated with the utmost respect and consideration,” said Alan Mabarak, Manufacturing Development manager for Arauco. “The Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium team continues to be true partners of Arauco. Consequently, we feel very welcome in the region and happy to be guided by a team who not only has a deep care and concern for the citizens of Michigan, but also for our business.”

In early 2018, Jonathan Werner was hired in at Arauco after passing initial testing through Michigan Works!. Werner had hoped that his new employment with Arauco would help him further his career. When Arauco was Awarded Going PRO Talent Fund monies, they started 14 U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeships, seven of which were for electricians. Werner jumped at the chance to further his career and education and began his training as an electrician.

“It’s exciting to see how apprenticeships are supporting the growth of talent in our region,” said state Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington). “Kudos to Arauco for offering Jonathan such a great on-the-job training opportunity. Congratulations to Jonathan on finding this wonderful career opportunity with Arauco!”

The Impact Awards hosted by Michigan Works! Association recognize the economic development success being achieved in communities across Michigan. During the event, local lawmakers present tributes to dozens of honorees from across the state.

“Economic development is key to creating growth in our region and throughout the state,” said state Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland). “Arauco has proven to be a great partner in creating good jobs in northern Michigan and as a leader in the community.”   

Award winners included employers, workers, Michigan Works! organizations, and partners from across the state.

“I am pleased to see community partners collaborating to bring talent and economic prosperity to our region,” said state Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City). “The daily effort Michigan Works! Northeast puts into coordinating with local employers and other partners makes all the difference in talent development in this area.”

Michigan Works! Association is a non-profit membership organization that provides services and support to Michigan’s talent eco-system. For over 30 years, the Association has been the go-to resource for federal, state and local workforce initiatives.

“Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium continues to show time and time again that they are committed to understanding the unique needs of our region and then using that knowledge in ways that help employers and job seekers alike succeed,” said state Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona).

The Association’s work ensures top-quality services and support for Michigan’s talent pipeline. For more information, please visit michiganworks.org.

Created on Friday, March 6, 2020