FY18 Network Snapshot
Over 1,800 people received services from WSC last year.
Paid an average hourly wage of $12.25/hr!
Placed nearly 1,300 people with disabilities in jobs in the community.
224 Veterans and people with disabilities were placed through Action Associates.
100% satisfaction with services offered.
68% of WSC Academy graduates are now employed.
Mission Work Skills Corporation’s Mission is to Optimize Potential.
Vision Statement To enhance the lives of those we serve.
WSC IS CHANGING LIVES
WSC’s Artisan Corner was the 2018 award winner for the Outstanding Workforce Program from MWSE and featured on CBS Ch. 62’s “Eye on Detroit”. In addition, two of our artists were finalists in the 2018 Howell Art Show and their art work was reproduced and is displayed on the outer-walls of local businesses. This is a uniquely different type of employment opportunity program for persons with barriers to employment. Some of the barriers that are being overcome for our burgeoning artists include using art as the forum for communication. This is of particular value for individuals that have much to contribute but cannot find the right way to communicate their thoughts or feelings. Many of our 38 active artists want to work, but cannot hold a traditional job or simply prefer to earn an income via art sales. Art breaks down many of the emotional and psychological barriers that hold our artists back by building self-confidence and personal satisfaction. Art accomplishments advance learning skills, improve interpersonal skills and shows these artist participants that they are more self-sufficient and capable then they believed.
The WSC Artisan Corner provides persons with barriers the opportunity to express creative skills by producing artwork, which will be displayed and offered for sale at Studio West Gallery, and throughout the community. On any given day, there are artists working on variety of mediums, including ceramics, painting and drawing, jewelry, fiber arts and mixed media, aided and trained by the professional art teacher and skilled volunteers. The WSC Artisan Corner, supported by the multidisciplinary team at WSC, has been a vehicle to increase worker skills, awareness of art, commerce and culture and help showcase the wonderful things Work Skills Corporation has done to enhance and provide exceptional service to persons who experience barriers to employment and community integration
Volunteer of the Year
It was easy to select Heather Spitler as our 2018 Volunteer of the Year. She came for a tour of WSC in 2016 and has given time, talents and creative energies ever since! Heather joined our philanthropic women’s group, WoW, in February of that year, was elected to the Work Skills Foundation board in January 2017 and the WSC board in September 2017. She remains actively involved in all of these endeavors. WSC has the equipment needed to reproduce Artisan Corner paintings on mugs, apparel and other items through sublimation; what we lacked was someone to do it. When Heather heard this, she did some research and taught herself the entire process. Heather has spent countless hours doing sublimation for us. As a result, WSC artisans are earning income and the shelves at our Studio West Gallery are full of an array of items with unique Artisan Corner designs. Thank you, Heather!
Customer of the Year
WSC is proud to recognize Unistrut as the 2018 Employer of the Year. Unistrut is a company that produces complete and flexible support systems for buildings. Unistrut’s Leadership sought out Work Skills Corporation as a potential supplier to assist in meeting their orders. Unistrut exhibited a workplace culture that was continuously and comprehensively supportive of WSC’s diverse and inclusive workforce. Specifically their Management Team lent their support regarding set up and packaging to make the startup as seamless as possible. The work that Unistrut provides produces wages for WSC employees, builds their resumes and allows us to assess worker traits and skills. Unistrut also partners with WSC Action Associates to provide staffing onsite at their Wayne location. Congratulations to Unistrut on their well deserved award!
Participant of the Year
Ryan Parker was referred by his Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) Counselor Toni Jordan to participate in Work Skills Corporation’s Placement Services Program. He had recently graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing and wanted assistance in obtaining employment in his field. He is a determined young man with high aspirations and a strong motivation to succeed. Ryan demonstrated skills and knowledge of conducting a job search and interviewing effectively by gaining employment at an employer of his choosing. Ryan was hired as an Event Specialist at Advantage Solutions, where he is assigned to work at the Howell Walmart store, conducting customer surveys, providing samples of products and distributing coupons. His employer reports that Ryan is “an outstanding member of [their] team”. WSC would like to congratulate Ryan on his successful job search. Kudos to a job well done Ryan!
Student of the Year
Jaila Thomas is one of the 22 graduates of 2018 at WSC Academy. Jaila has overcome numerous obstacles and is proud to say that she is the only high school graduate in her immediate family. Jaila arrived at WSC Academy in May 2015. Jaila and her mother just moved from Detroit to Ypsilanti and she found WSC Academy and decided to give it a try. But, the road to graduation was not easy. She had to endure much adversity to complete high school which included homelessness, depression, dealing with family members and their addictions along with not having the proper support needed at home to graduate. Jaila often recalls negative comments pertaining to her not ever graduating due to family history, but she used that as motivation to continue to persevere and pursue her high school diploma. In addition to completing her diploma, she also completed a Phlebotomy certification program while attending WSC Academy.
PRE-EMPLOYMENT TRANSITION SERVICES
In partnership with our state’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Divisions, Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and The Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) and local school districts, WSC provided Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) to high school students who are planning on seeking work or transitioning from secondary to post-secondary education/training.
It is well documented that more people with disabilities following high school are unemployed and live in poverty than any single demographic group in the United States today. It is also understood that youth, regardless of disability status, are more likely to have successful employment outcomes post high school if they had some exposure to the workplace while still in school. Pre-ETS is designed to combat the jobless disparity by providing an early start at job exploration targeting students who are age 14-26 with disabilities to participate in transition activities that will maximize their potential to enter competitive integrated employment.
In keeping with VR’s expectations, curriculum expertly developed and delivered by WSC instructors cover five pre-employment transition service activities with participants: Job Exploration, Work Based Learning (WBL), Counseling on Post-Secondary Education, Work Place Readiness Training and Instruction in Self Advocacy/Peer Mentoring. This past year WSC stepped in to affect a change in the future of 113 students that were referred from 15 different schools.
Pre-ETS allows Michigan’s state VR Divisions and WSC, to share the mutual goal of assisting people with disabilities by achieving independence through meaningful employment. For after all, youth with disabilities deserve the opportunity to earn an income and become productive taxpaying members of our communities, just like any of their peers. WSC is committed to ensuring all individuals are recognized and employed due to their abilities at a fair and competitive wage. WSC is proud to assist with the breaking down of unnecessary barriers and thereby averting a potential lifetime gap of pay through education and training afforded by Pre-Employment Transition Services.