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Ukrainian Immigrant Starts Truck Driving Career With Help From Northwest Michigan Works!

March 13, 2023

Serhii Korotchenko’s road to becoming a truck driver in northern Michigan started in Ukraine after the Russian invasion in 2022. Serhii and his family left Ukraine and lived with friends in Moldova. While they were living there, Serhii’s wife found out about a program that connected them to a sponsor in the U.S. who helped Serhii, and his wife, son, and mother-in-law, move to Lake City.  After they arrived in northern Michigan, DHS referred Serhii to the PATH program at Northwest Michigan Works!

“The team at Michigan Works! called us and helped us,” said Serhii. “They proposed for us learning something, some specialty, some occupation in Michigan. And, step by step we came to this result.”

That result was the team at Northwest Michigan Works!  braiding together various funding sources, including the Michigan Learning and Education Advancement Program (MiLEAP), which covered the cost of Serhii’s training at Pinnacle Truck Driver Training in Cadillac.

“They found Pinnacle School and helped to pay for this learning for us, for me and my friend,” said Serhii. “And we finished the school and get CDL.  And Pinnacle School helped us to find a job.”

“Going to Michigan Works!, as far as we are concerned, is really adding to our program, adding to people getting good working jobs, said Mike Bell, co-owner and instructor at Pinnacle Truck Driver Training. “These guys can go out, get on the road, and be making very good money in a very short time.”

Serhii started his career as a truck driver by driving six-thousand miles during his first two weeks on the job.  He’s grateful for the help he received from Northwest Michigan Works!

“This job can give my family a new future,” said Serhii. “Some money for education for my son. Some goods for my family. Some education for my wife, she wants to be a designer. This profession can give to us a new, good future.”  

Watch the video below to hear what Serhii has to say about the help he received from Northwest Michigan Works!


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