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

When Qualified Employees Are Hard to Find

Ryan Engwis
Ryan Engwis

When Qualified Employees Are Hard to Find

Ryan Engwis is a husband, father, U.S. Navy veteran, and Fast Start success story. His employer, The Dow Chemical Company, is one of several regional employers who look to on-demand training programs to hire highly-skilled employees like Ryan with chemical processing qualifications.

Our region’s top employers such as The Dow Chemical Company and Michigan Sugar rely on Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! and Delta College for Fast Start – an accelerated program designed to train potential employees with the knowledge and skills required to successfully operate, troubleshoot, monitor and control chemical processes in the manufacturing setting. Ryan is an outstanding example of the individuals recruited by Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! to participate in accelerated training. By doing so, he was able to recareer and significantly improve his wages and job security.

When Ryan completed serving a tour of duty in the military, he returned home and quickly got a job to support his family. Except it didn’t. Ryan was over qualified and under employed. He heard about Fast Start and walked into the Saginaw Michigan Works Service Center in late May to learn more.

Little did Ryan know, the application deadline for the next program had just passed. Quick-thinking Talent Expert Rosemarie Butterworth connected Ryan immediately with Talent Expert Beth Yett to expedite the application process. Both recognized what an excellent candidate Ryan would be based on his work history and relevant skills, so they worked together to get him through Work Keys testing, update his resume, and submit his application to Delta for last-minute consideration. Delta College accepted him the next morning and he was in training just a few days later.

Before completing the 13-week program, Ryan was approached by Dow and offered a job making $23.95 an hour. He started work just 4 days after graduation.

“Thanks to Rosemarie, Beth and Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works!, within 24 hours, I was taking the first steps toward establishing a lifelong career that allows me to provide for my family in a way that seemed nearly impossible just one day before I visited the service center,” Ryan explains.

For Dow and other employer like it, when qualified employees are hard to find, programs like Fast Start and Talent Experts at Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! create an on-demand, just-in-time resource to remain competitive. Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! holds informational sessions and actively recruits for the program in addition to providing funding for those participants who qualify by being laid off, unemployed, or under-employed.

“As a company that drives innovations to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems, it is imperative that we find and retain candidates who are prepared with the necessary skills for a career with Dow,” says Craig Tausk, North America labor relations leader at Dow. “Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! is an excellent partner in helping us find those talented individuals.”

The Talent Experts at Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! continue to identify high demand training programs to add to our growing portfolio which includes chemical process operations, advanced manufacturing, business processes, advanced battery manufacturing, solar manufacturing, and EMT to paramedic training.

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