Program to train at-risk students wins statewide honor

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

KCRC Manager John Rogers is shown with the IMPRESS Award, presented by the County Road Association of Michigan for Kalkaska’s innovative program to assist local students.

KALKASKA – The Kalkaska County Road Commission brought home more than just memories and a few tips from the County Road Association of Michigan’s annual highway conference last month.

KCRC officials were presented with the IMPRESS Award, which recognizes county road agencies that demonstrate innovations with special projects in communications, operations and collaboration.

The local road commission entered its effort, “Growing Your Own,” a program designed to address Kalkaska’s lack of skilled workers by hiring a student and teaching the individual life and professional skills needed to forge a career path that doesn’t necessarily include a college degree.

“Kalkaska County Road Commission did something to not only help Michigan roads, but to help Michigan young people find good jobs,” said Denise Donohue, CRAM director. “By collaborating with existing educational programs, Kalkaska linked local kids to potential career infrastructure.”

Through the KCRC program, the road commission partnered with the Kalkaska High School Alternative Program and School To Wok program to recruit students who were at risk for potentially not graduating, providing the student with training in workplace ethics, accountability and life skills needed to succeed both inside and outside of the workplace.

KCRC Manager John Rogers said the effort helped provided needed vocational training that students today struggle to find either at the high school or college level.

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