Superintendent's Notes

First 18-weeks from Class to Career Pilot


Earlier this month a group of local manufacturers met with ten qualified adults to interview them and observe their machining and welding skills at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center. This event was the culmination of a first-ever, state-funded, three-year pilot program called “Linked Muskegon.” Enrollees spent two evenings a week for the past 18 weeks completing their high school diploma or GED while learning machining and welding skills through hands-on training. Not only did these adults learn how to safely operate high-tech equipment, they also spent time with West Michigan Works developing their soft skills.

We cannot thank Senator Goeff Hansen enough for his support in securing the grant funding needed to serve the young adults in our community who are looking for a second chance at an education and a career. Linked Muskegon provides those already enrolled in an adult education program with hands-on training on equipment common to today’s manufacturing industry right here at our Career Tech Center. These adults are linked directly with employers who desperately need skilled workers.

Special thanks to our adult education programs at White Lake, Orchard View, and Fruitport for their willingness to try this new model, and to Randy Lindquist for his leadership in pulling the grant together. I also want to thank Benika Longmire, our Adult Education Navigator (who was hired about halfway through the program) for the great job she has done in overseeing the program. We are pleased to report that six of the ten participants earned their high school diploma or GED within the 18 weeks. Two of them had already secured full-time employment before the course was even over, and others are currently in the selection process.

Our local adult education programs and Ms. Longmire are already looking for highly motivated adults to enroll in our second tuition-free program that will take them from a hands-on class to a successful career in 18 weeks. September 13, 2016, marks the beginning of our next training cycle with classes offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center.

Linked Muskegon participants must be 20 years of age or older, be enrolled in a local adult education program, have established a pattern of positive attendance, and have an interest in a manufacturing career. They must also have a minimum of 9th grade level proficiency in reading and math and be enrolled in an Adult Education program. Once selected for the program, students become dually enrolled by adding a technical course in either machining or welding at the Career Tech Center. To learn more, contact White Lake Area Community Education, Orchard View Adult Education, or Fruitport Adult Education, or contact Benika Longmire directly at 231-760-1997 or

Let's give a leg up to our adult education students and our economy by spreading the news about this great program!

See Mlive article: Adult students show off job skills for employers after 18-week program

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Dr. John Severson
Muskegon Area ISD Superintendent