- Employer Success Stories
- Youth (WIOA)
Luke Belinc enrolled in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program for Youth at the SEMCA Southgate Michigan Works Service Center in December of 2013. Luke was 21 years old. He was a high school dropout who was working a part time job making minimum wage.
Luke new that he had to complete his education so that he could obtain additional training or education that would provide him with better employment opportunities. At the time of enrollment, Luke was interested in preparing for the GED Exam. He attended the Open Lab at the center for a while but due to some transportation issues, he was unable to attend regularly and make any real progress. It took some time, but Luke was able to work through his transportation barrier. In the meantime, Southgate Michigan Works partnered with Michigan Educational Partnership (MEP) to provide online GED prep and high school completion.
The program would provide an opportunity for Youth Program participants to work on obtaining their high school diploma, even though they had aged out of the traditional school system. Luke was very interested and attended an orientation session to learn more about the program. After submitting his high school transcripts to MEP, he found out that he was only a few credits short of the required number of credits to graduate. Once he was registered, Luke began working diligently on his online courses. The program was convenient for him, because he could work online from home and set his own schedule, which generally works well for youth.
On November 7, 2014, Luke’s Career Development Facilitator (CDF) received the news that Luke had completed his courses and had met the graduation requirements. He was the first Youth participant to earn his high school diploma through the MEP program at the Southgate Michigan Works Service Center!
On June 4, 2015, Luke proudly walked down the aisle at the MEP graduation commencement. Although Luke had dropped out of high school, he never gave up on his goal to complete his education. Luke said, with a smile from ear to ear, “I’m so thankful for the MEP program and Michigan Works for helping me reach my goal.”
After graduation, Luke knew that he wanted to immediately start researching post-secondary schools. He met with his CDF and discussed various careers that he might be interested in. He completed the O*Net Interest Profiler as well. He decided he wanted to go into the computer field. After looking at several community colleges, Luke registered at Henry Ford College and successfully completed his first semester in the winter of 2015. He is currently taking classes toward a degree in software engineering and mathematics. He is considering transferring to The University of Michigan-Dearborn once he has completed more courses at HFC. Obtaining a degree in information technology will provide a wealth of job opportunities that will provide a secure future and comfortable lifestyle for Luke.
Luke was also interested in assistance with some basic career development. His CDF worked with him on developing a resume which would assist him with his job search. Due to his lack of interview experience, they also worked on some interview questions and skills that would make him well-prepared and more comfortable in job interviews. Within a short time, Luke obtained a part time position at Tim Horton’s in Woodhaven. He has learned and developed valuable skills such as customer service, food preparation/food safety, teamwork and time management. With his job skills and experience, Luke decided to apply for a job at PetSmart. He recently found out that he got the job that increases his earnings to $8.50 per hour.
Luke has definitely demonstrated that although we may have set backs in life, if we put our minds to it, we can achieve our goals with a little hard work and determination.