It’s good for your business, and it’s certainly good for the community.

We – at Belle Tire – decided to participate in the Earn and Learn program because of the reimbursement of wages, but once we got involved in the program, we found that there were many other benefits.

So far, we have three Earn and Learn employees working at our distribution center. The first person we hired was a young man named Devante.
Earn and Learn class at FOCUS: Hope

There’s a saying: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The first impression that Devante made was impressive. He was dressed well and interviewed well. I knew I was going to hire Devante, but I also put pressure on him. I told him: You are responsible for those who come after you. If you fail, the program is going to fail. If you do well, we will hire others. Devante has turned out to be a very good employee.

Many people that seek work with us have little idea of what employers expect. I myself interview about 200 people a year for job openings we have. I’ve learned that far too many young men who apply with us have never had a male mentor to prepare them for the work world.

However, the individuals who graduate from the Earn and Learn job readiness training have learned a good understanding of employer expectations. They understand the importance of a good work ethic and attitude, punctuality, getting along with and respecting others, and so forth.

I’ve also been impressed with the support services that Earn and Learn provides. The caseworkers follow up to make sure that things are working out – and to see what could be improved, if anything. There is incredible value in this. I would almost be willing to pay for it! But, even better, it’s free.

I can’t overstate the value of Earn and Learn. You get workers who are pre-screened. The background checks and drug testing are done. The workers are well prepared, and motivated to work and succeed.

Because of our positive experiences with Earn and Learn, we are inspired to hire more participants, here and elsewhere in the state. At our Allen Park facility, we’re looking to hire 5 more participants in the near future. Statewide, we may hire as many as 25.

Without a doubt, I would recommend Earn and Learn to other employers. It’s good for your business, and it’s certainly good for the community.