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Northwest Michigan Works! Alumnus of the Year Recognized in Lansing

Cindy Erdman-Pruyne left an abusive marriage in October, 2010. She had two young children and no job. She moved in with her parents and started looking for a way to provide for her children.

Cindy went to Northwest Michigan Works! in Manistee where Career Advisor Mary Szwed enrolled her in the JET Program. Cindy received help with her résumé and interview skills, attended a variety of career skills workshops, and earned a National Career Readiness Gold Certificate through the Adult Education Learning Lab. Michigan Works! also helped Cindy with transportation costs and clothing for interviews.

Cindy then was enrolled in the WIA Program and received additional job search help from Career Advisor Pam Anderson. Pam helped Cindy apply for a job as a paraprofessional helping special needs students at a northern Michigan school. Cindy got that job in August, 2011.

"Cindy is an extremely hard working, compassionate person," said Cindy's supervisor. "She takes her job seriously and puts 110 percent in to it. I could not ask for a better employee."

"Without the help from Northwest Michigan Works! I don't know where I would be and I don't want to think about where I would be," said Erdman-Pruyne. "They helped every step of the way to pull me out of the bad situation I was in and keep me moving forward."

Because of all the hard work she has done to overcome the barriers she has faced, Cindy has been selected as the Northwest Michigan Works! Alumnus of the Year.

Cindy, and other Michigan Works! alumni from around the state, was honored in January at the Michigan Works! Association Alumni Celebration in Lansing. Cindy is pictured third from left with State Senator, Darwin Booher, her supervisor, and Northwest Michigan Works! staff.

Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.
- Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission