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Tag Archive | "Michigan Works"

Friend of the Court Opens the Responsible Parent Program Center 

Responsible Parent Program Center office. Courtesy photo.

Friend of the Court Opens the Responsible Parent Program Center 

The Kent County Friend of the Court (FOC) is pleased to announce the opening of the Responsible Parent Program (RPP) Center, located on the second floor at 82 Ionia Avenue NW, Grand Rapids. 

This new center makes it easier for participants in the program to meet with their case manager, see updated job postings, and apply for jobs on-line. 

Launched in 2016, RPP has established partnerships with over 30 agencies and employers to assist those who are having difficulties paying their court-ordered child support. Once in the program, a FOC case manager will meet with the participant to identify any barriers the person may be facing, make appropriate referrals for job placements and searches, determine whether a case qualifies for a support review to ensure the current order is based on ability to pay, and provide information about parenting time issues and services. 

The goal of the RPP is to place 75% of those who complete the program into jobs. The RPP started in 2016 with ten partner agencies and employers and has grown to 34 current partners. In its first two years, 53% of those accepted into the program reported employment following their initial appointment with the case manager; 41% met their court-ordered obligation and 67.5% made some payment. “These are cases where little to no payment was being made. Our primary goal is to make sure the children of Kent County are receiving court-ordered support,” said Friend of the Court Director Dan Fojtik. “We are here to help anyone who is sincerely interested in improving their financial position and getting their FOC case back on track.” 

To qualify for the program, a participant must have a FOC case, no gainful employment, be able to work, have no pending child support related felony warrant, and be interested in participating. Enforcement actions such as show-cause hearings, bench warrants, and license suspensions will be deferred while the participant is in the program. The RPP Center has three designated computer terminals where payers can search for jobs, and the Center holds drop-in times when no appointment is needed on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons. 

Anyone who is interested in this special 90-day program may contact the FOC for more information at (616) 632-6888. Case managers are also available to meet in person without an appointment at Michigan Works, Urban Family Ministries, Strong Fathers, Hispanic Center, and Guiding Light Mission; call (616) 632-6825 for days and times. 


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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

Blood Drive for Lizzie August

Mar. 10: Donate blood in honor of Elizabeth August. Lizzie was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 4 in 2009 and during her treatments she has received 13 red blood and 29 platelet transfusions along with 2 bone marrow transplants. She is now 11 and in remission. There are so many more who need our help. Come donate blood to honor her journey and the journeys of all the young children fighting their own battles. Creative Technologies Academy, 350 Pine St., Cedar Springs on Thursday, March 10th from 1 to 6:45 pm. To schedule an call Jennifer August at 616-799-0559. Come donate blood and register with Delete Blood Cancer to be part of the bone marrow donor registry. American Red Cross, 800-733-2767, redcrossblood.org. #10

Praise the Lord at Cowboy Church

Mar. 13: 2nd Chance will be having Cowboy Church on Sunday, March 13th at 6 pm. It will be at 2nd Chance School at 810 – 17 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs (corner of 17 Mile and Olin Lakes Rd). The message will be shared by Pinky Hosford who has an amazing testimony to share, Music will be shared by Gospel Singers, Larry, Deb, George and Ray, traditional country and gospel singers. Invite your family and friends. Cowboy Church will be every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Each service will have different people sharing God’s word and music. If you have questions, call 616-293-2150. See you there! #10

Job Seekers Workshop

Mar. 14, 28, Apr. 11, 25: Kent District Library and Michigan Works! Present free Workshops for Job Seekers. Workshops are on Mondays from 1 0 3 pm at the Nelson Township/Sand Lake KDL Branch.  March 14th: Resume Development Workshop, March 28th: Interviewing Workshop, April 11th: Brand: You!, April 25th: Communications Skills. For more information, please visit www.kdl.org/events or call KDL at 616-784-2007 or 877-243-2466 (toll free). #9,10p

Dinner at the Legion

Mar. 14: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a roast beef and onion dinner on Monday, March 14th, from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be mashed potatoes, veggies, roll, drink and dessert. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #10p

Michigan Blood Drive

Mar. 15: The Cedar Springs United Methodist Church will host a blood drive on Tuesday, March 15th from 12:30 pm until 7 pm. Is your blood really red or is it green enough to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as Irish? Find out. Attempt to donate and you could also potentially help three people in need. The Blood Center thanks all the people that attempt to donate. #10

Dinner at East Nelson UMC

Mar. 16: East Nelson United Methodist Church, 9024 – 18 Mile Rd., is hosting a Ham Dinner on Wednesday, March 16th from 5 to7 pm. The menu will include: ham, cabbage, red potatoes, carrots, relish tray, rolls, homemade desserts. Everyone is invited. Donations accepted. #10

Fish Fry

Mar. 18: Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake Ave., is hosting a Fish Fry on Friday, March 18th from 4:30 to 7 pm. Battered fried fish, baked potato or fresh-cut French fries, cole slaw, coffee and punch, dessert. 3 pieces – $9, 2 pieces – $7, 1 piece – $5. Eat in or carry out. 616-866-4298. #10,11p

Annual En Gedi Auction

Mar. 18: Come Be Refreshed! Friday, March 18th with the High School cafeteria doors opening at 6 pm. This year’s event has many great items for you to choose from to include furniture, MSU football and basketball tickets, private golf session by MSU Coach Casey Lubahn, hotel stays, fine dining certificates, tools, hand-made dolls, private wild turkey and pheasant hunts, clothing, wood pellets, puzzles, and much more!!!! With a $10 entry donation you can enjoy delicious appetizers while you browse the items on the silent and live auction table. All funds earned on this event will be matched by CS Manufacturing. En Gedi is a Christ-centered non-profit organization providing a FREE after school youth center, special high school and community events with a focus on building family. Donations of services or products (all are appreciated are greatly needed. Contact Sue Wolfe at 696-2246 or SueQ@hughes.net for tickets or for donation pick-ups. #10,11p

Pancake Breakfast 

Mar. 19: The Courtland Fire Department, 7480 – 14 Mile Rd., will be hosting their annual pancake breakfast on Saturday, March 19th from 8 – 11 am. The fire department will be serving pancakes, eggs, hash browns, sausage, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Adults – $7.00, Children 4-12 – $4.00, 3 and under are free. #10

Quilt Show Library Friends Fundraiser

Mar. 19: Saturday, March 19th from 10 am to 4 pm. Show your quilt! Last Call! Do you have a quilt that you want to show in the 4th Annual Friends of the Library Quilt Show? Call Barb at 616-236-9500 or Louise at 616-696-1376 to still get your quilt in the show. Quilts may be delivered to the Cedar Springs Middle School on Friday, March 18th between 4 and 6 pm or Saturday, March 18th between 7:30 and 9 am. Attendees will vote for their favorite quilts in each of the two categories, general and antique ( at least 50 years old). Admission is $2 per person and in addition to the quilt show there will be trunk shows for Red Button Quilt Co. and Blueberry Backroads, a silent auction, a quilting garage sale and a raffle quilt. Raffle tickets are available at the Cedar Springs Public Library, Luv2Quilt on 14 Mile and at the show. See you there. #10

Mom2Mom Sale

Mar. 19: The Resurrection Lutheran Church, 180 S. Third St., Sand Lake is hosting a Mom2Mom sale on Saturday, March 19th from 9 am to 1 pm. For questions regarding the sale, please contact Nichole at 616-263-9662. #10,11p

Roast Beef Dinner

Mar. 20: The Rockford American Legion Post 102 on the corner of Northland Dr. and Rockford Park Dr. (330 Rockford Park Dr.), will be hosting a roast beef dinner on Sunday March 20th and every 3rd Sunday of each month. Open to the public. We will be serving roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, coleslaw, rolls, dessert, coffee and punch. Reasonably priced at $9 for adults, kids age 4 to 12 for $7 and under 4 years are free. Serving from 11am to 3 pm. See ya there and bring the family! #10,11p

Good Friday Walk and Remember

Mar. 25: Walk to each of the Sand Lake Village Churches and listen to the thoughts of characters that experienced the crucifixion first hand. Friday, March 25th from noon to 1:30 pm. Our walk begins at Resurrection Lutheran Church (just south of town on Northland Dr.), with stops at the Full Gospel Church, Downtown Pavilion, Mary Queen of Apostles, and the United Methodist Church. Transportation will be provided back to the Lutheran Church. Children and families are encouraged to join us. #10-12p

HCNC Easter Egg Hunt w/Brunch

Mar. 26: Howard Christensen Nature Center will hold it’s 6th Annual Easter Egg Hunt with Brunch on Saturday, March 26th. Brunch will be served from noon to 2 pm. The Easter Egg Hunt begins promptly for all ages at 2 pm. Brunch is $5 per person or $20 per family of 4 or more and includes the Easter Egg Hunt. Easter Egg Hunting only $1 per egg hunter. Members are free. 16160 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, 616-675-3158. www.howardchristiansen.org. #10

CS Community Players Mystery Trivia

Mar. 30: The Cedar Springs Community Players are pleased to announce “Murder at the Kent”, a collection of three one act plays which will be performed at the Kent Theatre on March 30th, 31st, and April 1st.  The plays are Sorry, Wrong Number, Heat Lightning, and The Man who Died Twice.  These short, thrilling plays will delight the mystery lovers and send shivers down the spines of the audience.  And since every good mystery story requires some anticipation, the Players have devised a series of mystery themed trivia to build up the suspense before opening night.  These questions will appear in The Cedar Springs Post each week in the month before the production, starting on March 3rd.  Solve the riddles and bring your answers to one of the performances at the Kent Theatre to be entered to win prizes that night. #10p

Community Night

Apr. 21: Cedar Springs Community Night is April 21st and registration is underway. The deadline for registration is March 25th. Forms are online at www.csaparksandrec.com or you can call 616-696-7320. #10b

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Sand Lake resident honored in Lansing

From L to R: Sheri Thompson, Senator Mark Jansen, Nikki Stoner, Lexi Stoner, Patrick Nimphie, Kevin Stoner, Senator Darwin Booher, Joe Hufnagel, Tina Scully, Paul Griffith, Larry Emig

Michigan Works! West Central recently honored Sand Lake resident Kevin Stoner, for upgrading his skills and entering a new profession after a car accident left him unable to do his job.

The 2012 Michigan Works! Alumni Celebration highlighted recent hiring and employment successes achieved across Michigan through the “demand-driven employment strategy” laid out last year by Governor Snyder.

Stoner and his employer, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, were recognized in Lansing by lawmakers and state workforce development officials alongside 24 other companies and individuals. The event, held at the Anderson House Office Building in Lansing, highlights the achievements of local job makers and 25 individuals who displayed an ability to upgrade their skills and transition into new high-demand occupations and industries including manufacturing, health care, information technology, criminal justice and more.

Stoner, formerly of Reed City, came to Michigan Works! West Central in 2009 after he had been severely injured in a car accident and could no longer perform the work he’d been doing for the last 13 years as a concrete finisher. He knew that in order to provide for his family, he needed to find a new career path. He researched his options and went with what he had a passion for, which was helping amputees.

“I have 10 years personal experience with the life and limitations of an amputee, as my wife is a below the knee amputee. Because of my love for her, I was determined to learn and get the education needed to become an orthotic and prosthetic technician,” said Stoner.

In February 2010, Stoner volunteered at a prosthetics company in Kalamazoo as an understudy to learn general design and fabrication of lower extremity prosthetics from start to finish. Stoner received mileage reimbursement for his travels to Kalamazoo for some time until funding was exhausted through No Worker Left Behind. But this didn’t stop him from finishing his training. Neither did surgery on his injured shoulder due to the injuries he sustained in his car accident.

“Michigan Works! West Central works each and every day to assist job seekers and to help them find a career, not just a job,” said Michelle Herron, business services director. “We are focusing on a demand-driven employment strategy that connects employers with the skilled workers they need while preparing job seekers for the careers of tomorrow.”

In addition to providing Stoner with mileage reimbursement, Michigan Works! helped him obtain work attire as well as relocation assistance to move closer to his job in Grand Rapids.

“Everything just came together for me,” Stoner added. “Everyone at Michigan Works! West Central went out of their way to support me and help me achieve my goals.”

Governor Snyder recognized the strength and importance of Michigan Works! One-Stop Service Centers during his recent special message on workforce development. The Michigan Works! System has more than 100 Service Centers in cities across Michigan, and each offers a broad spectrum of services to meet the needs of local businesses and assist those seeking employment.


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