February, 22, 2024
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Michigan's PATH Program: Empowering Families, Fostering Careers

Michigan’s PATH Program: Empowering Families, Fostering Careers

Infostani International- Immanual Jackson, a full-time medical student, became the main provider for his twin boys when his wife couldn’t work. They sought support from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and joined Michigan’s PATH program through the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). This collaboration empowered Immanual, helping him complete his medical studies and secure a residency at the University of Michigan Health-West. The PATH initiative, a joint effort of MDHHS and LEO, breaks barriers and paves the way for brighter futures.


Immanual Jackson’s Journey: Navigating Fatherhood and Medical School with Michigan’s PATH Program

In December 2021, Immanual Jackson became the proud father of twin boys and assumed the role of the main income earner when his wife subsequently couldn’t work. At that time, Immanual, a full-time medical student with a demanding schedule, had little time for employment.

Immanual and his wife approached the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and entered the Partnership.Accountability.Training.Hope. (PATH) program through the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).

PATH assists participants in obtaining and maintaining employment, earning wages, and developing self-sufficiency by providing work activities, job training, and employability skills. The corresponding Michigan Works! Service Center administers these services locally.

Immanual stated, “Michigan Works! staff accommodated my needs by providing services virtually due to my limited free time. They even delivered supplies directly to my home when my wife and I couldn’t take the boys out.”

Empowering Michigan Through Collaboration: The Impact of the PATH Program on Career Development and Family Support

In addition to job training, PATH staff connected Immanual with additional community resources to address the needs of his newborns and assisted in covering the cost of scrubs required for his clinical rounds at various hospitals.

The majority of PATH participants encounter barriers such as lack of transportation, job search skills, money for work clothes, and childcare. Participants who complete the program, on average, earn $2,000 more per year than their peers.

LEO Director Susan Corbin said, “Michigan’s PATH initiative exemplifies the state’s collaborative efforts across departments to guide Michiganders toward promising careers and provide businesses with the skilled workforce they need to succeed.”

The collaboration between MDHHS and LEO enables the departments to better serve Michiganders by addressing the needs of PATH participants. MDHHS provides services for health and well-being, while LEO focuses on job readiness skills and resources to help participants return to work.

MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel stated, “This partnership with LEO allows MDHHS to meet our goal of providing Michigan’s residents with easy access to benefits and services that help them realize their dreams.”

Michigan's PATH Program: Empowering Families, Fostering Careers
The PATH program delivered training and supportive services to over 8,000 individuals across Michigan.

Success Stories and Impact: PATH Program’s Transformative Achievements in Michigan’s Workforce Development

During fiscal year 2023, the PATH program delivered training and supportive services to over 8,000 individuals across Michigan. More than half of these participants transitioned out of public assistance programs and successfully started new careers.

LEO’s Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn mentioned, “Programs like PATH allow us to work with each participant individually to identify the types of supports needed and connect them to the right resources.”

Thanks to collaborative partnerships, Immanual received financial assistance to cover the cost of his latest medical board exam. Immanuel graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in May 2023 and is currently a resident physician of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Health-West.

Services of the PATH program are provided through the Michigan Works! network. To find your local Michigan Works! Service Center, visit Michigan.gov/MichiganWorks. More information about the program is available at Michigan.gov/PATH.