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Grand Traverse Canvas Works Receives Statewide Recognition for Talent Development

TRAVERSE CITY, MI—Grand Traverse Canvas Works and one of their employees have received  Michigan Works! Association Impact Awards. The awards recognize significant economic accomplishments within our communities and showcase the impact of newly created jobs, transformational training, and effective talent pipeline development.

Networks Northwest and Northwest Michigan Works! nominated Grand Traverse Canvas and employee Kimberly Miller for the awards after Miller participated in an Industrial Sewing Training program to learn the skills needed for a job with the company. Northwest Michigan Works! partnered with Rec Boat Holdings in Cadillac and Eastern Michigan University to offer the training, which also helped Rec Boat retain nearly 40 incumbent workers.

“Michigan Works! provided the opportunity to expand my skill base with an introduction to industrial sewing by attending the Industrial Sewing Class,” said Miller. “This has been a very good experience.”

“We had a good experience partnering with Michigan Works!,” said Mary Wodzien of Grand Traverse Canvas Works. “Because of their Industrial Sewing Class, we were able to hire Kimberly. She has a terrific work ethic.”

The awards were presented during a special recognition event April 27 in Lansing which was attended by several of the region’s state legislators.

"This partnership between Michigan Works! and local employers is already making a difference in lives across the region," said State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg). “This type of innovative collaboration is sure to produce dramatic results over the long term.”

Grand Traverse Canvas Works in located in Traverse City and offers a variety of custom canvas products including boat covers, awnings, upholstery, and tarpaulins.

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Founded in 1974, Networks Northwest facilitates and manages various programs and services for the 10 county region. These programs include Northwest Michigan Works, Small Business Development Center, Procurement Technical Assistance Center, various business services, and many different regional planning initiatives in response to our communities’ requests and needs. You will see the broad spectrum of workforce, business and community services Networks Northwest offers if you visit our web site,

Networks Northwest's member counties are: Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford.

The professionals at Networks Northwest help our City Council, Planning Commission, and staff make thoughtful decisions to ensure our community is sustainable and resilient for many years to come.
- Mark Heydlauff, Charlevoix City Manager