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Local Talent Development Leader Honored by Michigan Works! Association

Northwest Michigan Works! PATH Career Advisor, Mary Szwed, has received Michigan’s “Shining Star” Award from the Michigan Works! Association for her efforts to meet employment needs in Benzie and Manistee counties. Szwed received the award at the Association’s annual conference September 10 in Kalamazoo.

As a PATH (Partnership. Accountability. Training. Hope) advisor Szwed has assisted over 150 PATH participants over the last three years, the vast majority of whom were placed into unsubsidized employment or post-secondary education and training. The PATH program provides services to individuals that lead to employment and economic self-sufficiency.

“For over 13 years, Mary’s attention to detail, dedication, and commitment has been, and continues to be, unwavering,” said Luann Dunsford, chief executive officer of the Michigan Works! Association. “Her willingness to continue to help and support every facet of Michigan Works!, as well as continually being a team player, makes her a great choice for this award.”

Szwed has a reputation for going above and beyond to assist her clients, providing the highest caliber of customer service.

“Faced with the reality that many of her customers could not overcome the transportation barrier, Mary reached out to her community partners and set up shop in two of the most rural locations, resulting in almost 2,000 customer interactions at those locations,” said Matt McCauley, CEO of Networks Northwest / Northwest Michigan Works!. “Never resting, Mary has taken her on-the-road approach to customer service to new levels by becoming an access point for all job seekers and employers that may not otherwise have the ability to travel to a job center.” 

"I am so honored, said Szwed. “There are so many unnamed "shining stars" that are my teammates either within my organization or in conjunction with other organizations, that together have assisted so many people on the path to go on to becoming "shining stars" themselves!”

Northwest Michigan Works! is an essential resource for employers and job seekers in the Northern Michigan area.
- Kathy Stuart, Michigan Rubber Products Human Resource Manager