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Local Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates Students Attend National Leadership Event

Three students in the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) program coordinated by Northwest Michigan Works! attended the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) National Student Leadership Academy November 29 – December 1 in Washington D.C. The event attracted over 850 students from around the country. The northern Michigan students attending the Leadership Academy were Jordan Leusby, a senior from Kingsley in the Automotive Technology Program at the TBAISD Career-Tech Center; Jared Piechan, a senior from East Jordan in the Welding Program at Char-Em ISD CTE; and Olivia Emond, a senior from Lake City in the Hospitality, Retail and Entrepreneurship Program at Wexford-Missaukee Career Tech Center.  

While they were in Washington, the three students participated in a variety of leadership sessions, attended employability skills workshops, networked with students from other states, and attended the Leadership Awards Luncheon which included a keynote speech by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant who is also the Jobs for America’s Graduates Chairman. The students also toured monuments and museums and had the rare opportunity to tour Arlington National Cemetery and participate in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The students were joined on the trip by Dana Venhuizen, JMG Specialist TBAISD/CTC; Aaron Sue Meyer, JMG Specialist Char-EM ISD/CTE; and Joe Parent, Job Developer, Northwest Michigan Works!.

Northwest Michigan Works! coordinates JMG programs at the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District, the Traverse Bay Area ISD Career-Tech Center, the Wexford-Missaukee Career Tech Center, and a JMG Career Readiness program in Manistee.

Jobs for Michigan's Graduates is the leading program of Youth Solutions, Inc., a premiere youth opportunity organization on a mission to equip young people with the skills to overcome barriers and win in education, employment, and as citizens. Youth Solutions is the state-based affiliate of the national Jobs for America's Graduates organization (, one of the largest and most successful school-to-work systems in the United States. The JMG model consists of a comprehensive set of services designed to help young people achieve education and career goals.
For more information on Youth Solutions and its Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates programming, visit 


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Ty Wessell, Leelanau County Commissioner