Grand Traverse Businesses Receive Help From TBAISD Students

Local businesses are helping students at the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District gain more than just job-related skills.

More than 80 students now have jobs at a number of Northern Michigan businesses that need the help.

The project helps students with special needs get experience in the working world.

9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist show us how the program benefits the students and businesses.

Many businesses around Northern Michigan are still aching for summer employees, but at Northern Building Supply, they have found help in a special group of workers.

Meet Stephanie.

She’s 20 years old and one of the hardest workers you’ll meet.

“I do like getting out of the house and I don’t like to sit around,” says Stephanie Kevwitch. “I would love to work day and night and get more money.”

Stephanie is one of dozens of students from TBAISD that are part of the Summer Youth Works Training project.

“We have a lot of students that enjoy what they’re doing,” Mimi Spaulding, transition coordinator with TBAISD. “It might be a stepping stone to what they ultimately want to do, but they’re getting experience and they’re getting real life routine down so they that can feel what it’s going to be like a successful worker in the future.”

The project aims to get students with special needs into the working world.

And since many businesses around Northern Michigan are looking for the help, they’re ready to help out.

“Often times they’re overlooked and so they’re kind of marginalized sometimes,” Spaulding says. “What we try to do is show this hidden talent pool that is out there and exists and really try to show just the quality and perseverance that they bring to the job.”

Stephanie says she looks forward to work every day, and is gaining more than just job-related skills.

“Being on time, which I am always on time, and just be patient. Get along, which I do, and I help them,” Kevwitch says.

The end goal of all these students’ summer positions is to have them find something permanent.