Wayne-Westland Community Schools and SEMCA Celebrate Partnership While Announcing $850,000 Pathways to the Workforce Grant


In a special ceremony Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib joined SEMCA Chief Executive Officer Gregory Pitoniak, and Wayne-Westland Community Schools (WWCS) Superintendent John Dignan in celebrating the Pathways to the Workforce grant program. The program will ensure at-risk students in grades 8-10 have increased access to work-based internships and job shadowing opportunities designed to allow them to successfully obtain future employment.

Congresswoman Tlaib brought WWCS and SEMCA together and encouraged the organizations to think big in creating an intensive career learning opportunity for the students. Then she endorsed the project and guided program staff through the process to assure it was included in the approved FY 23 federal budget.

Wayne-Westland Build Your Future: Pathways to The Workforce grant program is designed to address the community need for an integrated career readiness system through a unique partnership between the Wayne-Westland Community School District, the cities of Westland, Wayne, and Inkster, local chambers, and SEMCA Michigan Works!. Together, these partners will establish a targeted work-based learning career pathways program, which meets multiple student, district and community needs. The program will target 300 at-risk students in grades 8-10 (minimum 14 years old) who attend Wayne-Westland Community Schools. 

Integrated Career Readiness System

Students will complete work experiences during the school year or summer, aligned with district work-based learning curriculum. Employed by SEMCA during their work-based learning experience, these students will receive an hourly wage and supportive services as needed. 

Program Goals

  • Increase work-based learning opportunities for Wayne-Westland Community School District students in grades 8-10 within the District and City departments.
  • Increase access for students to complete work-based learning experiences.
  • Increase work-based skills to successfully obtain future employment.
  • Improve student outcomes by targeting at-risk students.
  • Create a pathway for entry-level positions within WWCSD and the Cities of Westland, Wayne, Inkster, and other employer partners.

Want to Get Involved?

Employers who are interested in learning more about hosting a work-based learning experience for a Wayne-Westland student should contact SEMCA’s Wayne American Job Center.

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