There's an App for That: Free Training for Job Seekers

West Michigan Works! and partners, Michigan Works! Southwest and Michigan Works! Berrien-Cass-Van Buren, have been selected to participate in a national initiative, The Future of Work Grand Challenge. The goal of The Future of Work is to help put more than 25,000 individuals, impacted by COVID-19 layoffs and closures, back to work. Quickly.

​As part of the challenge, participating workforce agencies, like Michigan Works!, are looking for people to help them test emerging technologies that will give them new skills that lead to employment.

Access to training and opportunity, for unemployed or underemployed participants

The workforce partners will be recruiting participants for three different solutions. The trainings will begin in May and will complete in 90 days or less.

This opportunity is available to persons:

Who have access to the internet and a computer or smart phone.

Who do not have a college degree.

Who are unemployed or underemployed.

Solution 1 – Rapid re-skilling for CNC machinists*

Machinists are in high demand in Michigan. In addition, the skills learned in this training can be used in other occupations including industrial machinery mechanics, maintenance and repair workers, machinery assemblers and fabricators, tool and die makers. These skills would also be valuable in several manufacturing apprenticeship programs.

This training combines online learning and virtual training. You can do your online learning anywhere, anytime. Through the app you will access course content, track your progress and get in-app chat support.

The augmented reality training uses a hololens headset. While wearing the headset you will experience a 3D virtual environment, seeing real footage of equipment through the eyes of an instructor who will demonstrate the tasks and processes you learned online. See example.

Once you’ve successfully completed training, you’ll be connected to employers who are interested in hiring participants.

*The CNC training application is now closed. Training began on Monday, May 10.

Solution 2 – Customer service training

Customer service training can be used to find jobs in several different industries healthcare, hospitality, and banking to name a few.

This online training can be done anywhere, anytime. You’ll complete personalized coursework to help you master your skills, participate in real-world team projects to practice those skills, and receive feedback from a coach to help you succeed.

At the end of the training you’ll receive help identifying and applying for sales and customer service roles.

Solution 3 – Support for aspiring entrepreneurs or small business owners

For individuals facing significant obstacles to traditional employment, entrepreneurship may offer an alternative path to generating income.

The training consists of a facilitated online workshop and app. As a participant, you will gain basic knowledge of business concepts, create a business plan and budget, connect with microlenders and other small business support resources, and develop important soft skills such as critical thinking and decision-making.

Individuals who are interested in learning more about any of the solutions or applying can visit mifutureorwork.org.