Where WorkLab and the Model are Making News

WorkLab Innovations

Recent Posts By WorkLab Innovations:

Cascade Engineering CEO: Why Engagement Matters to Company Culture

Posted on August 9, 2019

EHS Today

Christina Keller, CEO of Cascade Engineering, which manufactures large plastic injection moldings, certainly walks the talk.

The first thing you see on their website is “Business with a Different Mindset – through engineering, manufacturing and a meaningful culture, we’re devoted to making things better – people, planet and profit.”

Topics: barriers to employment, employee engagement, resource navigator, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, community development, diversity & inclusion, labor pipeline, workforce development, good jobs, employee retention

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Topics: barriers to employment, employee engagement, resource navigator, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, community development, diversity & inclusion, labor pipeline, workforce development, good jobs, employee retention

Manufacturing workforce development: Opportunity knocks

Posted on July 17, 2019

Plant Services

How do manufacturers secure and develop reliable, long-term employees? They reconsider traditional employment requirements, train early, and hire locally. In their 2018 skills-gap study, Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that “prioritizing competencies and potential in job candidates over strict adherence to sometimes arbitrary factors such as years of experience” could prove productive and even necessary in manufacturers’ quest to find needed talent.

Topics: resource navigator, innovative workplace benefits, labor pipeline, workforce development, good jobs, career training

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Topics: resource navigator, innovative workplace benefits, labor pipeline, workforce development, good jobs, career training

The Source Removes Barriers and Provides Support to Help Employees Thrive

Posted on June 3, 2019

Women's LifeStyle, Grand Rapid

In 2003, a group of employers got together to solve a problem they were facing across their companies; many of their employees were facing barriers that interfered with their employment. These seven companies formed The SOURCE, a nonprofit centered on providing services to employees of member companies in order to help them retain employment and advance their careers.

Topics: barriers to employment, sustainable workforce model, resource navigator, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, workforce development

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Topics: barriers to employment, sustainable workforce model, resource navigator, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, workforce development

Sustainable Workforce Model launches in Omaha following successful pilot program

Posted on May 1, 2019

We're thrilled to announce the launch of a new Sustainable Workforce Model program, expanding access to Resource Navigators in Omaha, Nebraska. The Greater Omaha WorkLab (GrOW) is now offering our unique model of frontline worker support to Omaha-area employers looking to support, engage, and retain their employees.The program is launching within the Greater Omaha Chamber with a three-year grant from Lozier Corporation.

Topics: scaling the Model, sustainable workforce model, resource navigator, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, community development, workforce development, good jobs

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Topics: scaling the Model, sustainable workforce model, resource navigator, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, community development, workforce development, good jobs

Employers develop common job app

Posted on April 26, 2019

Grand Rapids Business Journal


A local employee support organization and four employers have teamed to help job seekers save one of their most precious commodities: time.

Four West Michigan employers — Butterball Farms and Wolverine Coil Spring in Grand Rapids, Cascade Engineering in Cascade Township and Zeeland Lumber & Supply based in Zeeland — have created a common employment application by which job seekers can apply for open positions at any of the four employers.

Topics: barriers to employment, employers, workforce equality, diversity & inclusion, labor pipeline, workforce development, economic opportunity

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Topics: barriers to employment, employers, workforce equality, diversity & inclusion, labor pipeline, workforce development, economic opportunity

WorkLab 2018—Our Year In Numbers

Posted on March 19, 2019

In 2018, WorkLab expanded its network of members operating the Sustainable Workforce Model to 10 cities across the US. 60,000 workers can now access a Resource Navigator. Navigators help employees address work and life challenges to stay present and productive at work.

Topics: scaling the Model, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, impact investing, workforce development, good jobs, economic opportunity

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Topics: scaling the Model, innovative workplace benefits, workforce support, impact investing, workforce development, good jobs, economic opportunity

NorthCountry Federal Credit Union supports Working Bridges tax preparation program

Posted on February 28, 2019

NorthCountry Federal Credit Union recently presented $10,000 to the United Way of Northwest Vermont’s Working Bridges Mobile Tax Preparation program. Working Bridges provides free tax assistance for low-to-moderate wage earners at their place of work in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service, Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, and the Vermont State Tax Department. Working Bridges strategies also include onsite resource coordination, income advance loans, and financial education and coaching.

Topics: resource navigator, workforce support, community development

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Topics: resource navigator, workforce support, community development

Grand Rapids FOX 17 features The SOURCE on Motivation Monday

Posted on February 18, 2019

Grand Rapids Fox News 17

When things to wrong at home or in your personal life, sometimes keeping a job can be a challenge. Losing that job creates a snowball effect of bad events happening in life. The Source is a local nonprofit that partners with companies to maintain employees going through tough times.

Topics: sustainable workforce model, employee engagement, employee retention

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Topics: sustainable workforce model, employee engagement, employee retention

Program Helps Adult Workers Achieve Living Wage Jobs and Family Stability

Posted on September 13, 2018

Rapid Growth Media

Many hard-working Michiganders struggle to pay the rent, feed their families, and put gas in the car. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator for Michigan, two adults with two children each need to earn $15.37 to make ends meet. Many Michigan jobs pay little more than the $9.25 minimum wage.

In Grand Rapids, the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT), Mercy Health, and The SOURCE are partnering in WMCAT’s Workforce Development program to launch adults into careers that provide a living wage, opportunity for advancement, and the means to create a stable family environment.

Topics: impact investing, workforce development, good jobs, career training, economic opportunity

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Topics: impact investing, workforce development, good jobs, career training, economic opportunity

Partners Reap Results with Career Training Model

Posted on July 13, 2018

Grand Rapids Business Journal

A career-training program founded in 2006 quietly has been building a network of partners and services to meet two needs—workforce development and income security for underemployed and unemployed adults. Grand Rapids-based West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) started its adult career-training program in 2006, a year after the nonprofit was formed.

Topics: community development, education & training, impact investing, workforce development, career training

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Topics: community development, education & training, impact investing, workforce development, career training