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Nurturing Youth Success through Collaborative Partnerships

The number of disconnected youth in Michigan is increasing, with more young people than ever facing challenges in accessing education and employment opportunities. Collaboration among service providers is vital to help youth overcome barriers and achieve success, which is why Youth Solutions and Michigan Vocational Rehabilitation have formed a partnership that seeks to encourage collaboration statewide in order to better serve all of our youth. 

Using an approach that leverages partnerships and braids programming and funding sources, one agency, Michigan Works! West Central, is providing wrap-around resources to more youth with disabilities through effective collaboration with both Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and Youth Solutions. These services are provided utilizing the Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) programming model and curriculum.

By pooling resources, such as funding from the Workforce and Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA), along with additional financial support and expertise from both MRS and JMG, Michigan Works! West Central is ensuring a holistic approach to addressing the diverse needs of youth. This integrated approach encompasses a range of services, from work experience and employer engagement to developing youth leadership and employability skills.

The heart of this collaborative effort lies in the creation of a culture that emphasizes "How We Can" instead of limitations. Through adult mentorship, trauma-informed care, and systematic barrier removal, the partnership aims to create an environment where youth feel supported, empowered, and capable of overcoming challenges.

With JMG’s continued 12 months of support, the collaboration provides crucial post-graduation adult mentorship and guidance as students transition from high school to the world of adulting. This extended support ensures that the impact of the partnership is sustained, contributing to the long-term success of the youth involved.

Toni Davis, Manager at Michigan Works! West Central, stated, “Michigan Works! West Central views partnerships as an essential component of our young adult services.  Not only does this benefit the youth we are serving by ensuring a wraparound approach to respond to their needs, but it also ensures employers are getting the most qualified employees with the forward thinking skills essential in today's workforce.

In essence, the "village" required to foster success comprises a network of organizations, each contributing a unique element to the wrap-around services. Together, they create a robust framework that not only addresses immediate needs but also prepares youth for sustained success, illustrating that, indeed, we are better together.

If you are interested in partnering with Youth Solutions, please contact us on our website.


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