Serving Bay, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, & Saginaw Counties

About Us

Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! is more than a funding source, a spare pair of hands to post jobs and sort resumes, or an innovative partner at the economic development table.

Because of our direct interaction with our employer customers, we are:


to partner with employers and training providers to create on-demand solutions for high-demand skills


to a network of resources throughout the region and state


to adapt, respond and customize solutions for challenging recruitment projects


to convene employers within specific industries like health care and manufacturing to tackle long-term hiring issues

Best equipped

with resources, knowledge, experience and manpower

We pilot programs. We partner like none other.

We are the pulse of the job market.

History of the organization

Michigan Works! is the first unified workforce development system in the country and is an instrumental partner for developing Michigan’s economic future.

Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! is one of 16 Michigan Works! agencies across the state. Each is locally responsive and demand driven.

Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! is a consortium of Bay, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw counties, established to operate workforce development programs to strengthen this region.

Our mission is two-fold:

  • Assisting employers in finding and retaining qualified employees and
  • Assuring that the labor force meets the needs of employers

Management Team

Christopher Rishko, Chief Executive Officer

Kristen Wenzel, Chief Operations Officer, Equal Opportunity Officer

Ray Ogden, Chief Administration Officer


Amy Pringle, Accountant II

Craig Clark, Director of Adult Programs

Sheila Little, Contract Manager/ Monitor

Sarah Walker, Executive Assistant

Esther Sanders, Director of Youth Programs

Lisa Kleekamp, Director of Specialized Programs

Sheril TarrantDirector of Business Services and Community Relations

Wonzella Doyal, Director of IT and Facilities

Board Leadership

Vaughn Begick, Commissioner
Bay County

Kim Coonan, Commissioner
Bay County

Michael Lutz, Commissioner
Bay County

Jan Bunting, Commissioner
Gratiot County

George Green, Commissioner
Isabella County

Margaret McAvoy, Commissioner
Isabella County

James Geisler, Commissioner
Midland County

Scott Noesen, Commissioner
Midland County

Sheldon Matthews, Commissioner
Saginaw County

Amos O’Neal, Commissioner
Saginaw County


Carl Ruth, Commissioner
Saginaw County

Chuck Stack, Commissioner
Saginaw County

Michael Webster, Commissioner
Saginaw County

Larry Camel, CEO
Parishioners on Patrol

Ryan Charney, HR Director
IBEW 692

Michael Colby, East Division President
Isabella Bank

John Kaczynski, Director of Governmental Affairs
Saginaw Valley State University

Colleen Markel, Director of Workforce Development
MidMichigan Health

Brian McBride, Assistant Principal
Bay Arenac ISD Career Center

Mike Orvosh, President
USW Local 12934

Kelley Peatross, Community Affairs Area Manager
Consumers Energy

Bill Perlberg, President
RWC Inc.

Bob Peters, Owner | General Manager
Latitude Media, LLC

Carrie Prosowski, District Manager
Michigan Rehabilitation Services

Erik Rodriguez, Public Relations Director
Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan

Brian Sheets, Senior Manager of Employee Development
Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing, Inc.

Dan Wortman, President
Duclos Insurance

Chad Wurtzel, International Representative