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Encouraged by Michigan Works! Woman Earns Degree and New Career


April Birch says she was struggling with a lot of issues in her life when she first came to Northwest Michigan Works! in Manistee. She started working with Career Advisor Mary Szwed through Job Club and said she had no idea then what a huge influence Mary would have on her life.

"She never gave up on me and that is what I needed because I had just about given up on myself," said Birch.

She said Szwed helped her enroll in the Graphic Design program at Baker College and assisted her with support services for transportation and job search skills. While she was a student, Birch also continued to meet with Szwed on a regular basis.

"She asked me what I wanted to do and came up with all the resources she could to put me on that path," said Birch.

After Birch earned her Associates Degree at Baker, the staff at Michigan Works! helped her with résumé writing and encouraged her to go for an interview at Victoria's Floral Design in Benzonia. Birch got that job along with assistance through the Michigan Works! On-The-Job Training program. She is now assisting Victoria with the opening of a second store in Frankfort and is very happy with her career.

"I do not believe I would have gotten as far as I have without all of the resources that I was offered through Michigan Works! and the kindness, concern, and guidance from all the individuals I worked with on a regular basis," said Birch. "Thank you Michigan Works! and all who helped me, especially Mary Szwed."   


Related Info:  Job Seeker Services
Networks Northwest always proves to be a valued resource for our local government planning efforts. No organization does a better job of convening partners, promoting collaboration, and reporting on the data than does Networks Northwest
- Ty Wessell, Leelanau County Commissioner