Career Training Leads to Family’s Self-Sufficiency

Port Huron Career Center

As the mother of four children and a husband with a disability, Amber Steinmetz came into the Port Huron Michigan Works! Career Center as an applicant for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). She successfully completed the Applicant Eligibility Period (AEP) and transitioned to the Partnership, Accountability, Training and Hope (PATH) program in May of  2015. Soon after, she began full-time employment with Pioneer Properties. Due to the new job, PATH was able to provide a transitional support service for $200 and assistance with a car repair.

Selected for admission to the nursing program at St. Clair County Community College, Amber maintained full-time employment until she began the RN training. With a PELL award and the additional support of Michigan Works! training funds through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Amber enrolled in school. Earning a credential to work as a Registered Nurse offered Amber the chance for stable employment with an earning potential of at least three times the $8.15 hourly wage she was currently making. The training hours counted towards the PATH requirement.

In addition to tuition assistance, Amber received WIOA supportive services for books, uniforms, and licensing costs. Following a two–year participation in PATH and education, Amber graduated Cum Laude in May of 2017. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Applied Arts and Science with a major in Nursing ADN. Amber is employed full -time with St. John’s Hospital and Medical Center, earning $27.75 per hour. Amber utilized Michigan Works! services through PATH and WIOA to the full extent which propelled her to self -sufficiency and financial stability for her family.

By Kathryn Shaffer