Michigan Works of Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties is one of 16 recipients of grants totaling $2 million to help at-risk young adults prepare for their future careers.

“This $2 million investment in underrepresented young adult Michiganders will empower them to pursue meaningful opportunities,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a news release. “I am grateful to the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity for fulfilling our commitment to Michiganders pursuing their futures, especially those who are vulnerable, ensuring they can excel in the classroom or on a rewarding career path.”

The Young Professionals grants have been awarded to the state’s Michigan Works agencies, which were selected through a Request for Proposal process. The 16 agencies will receive awards ranging from $70,000 to $250,000 to support the development and/or enhancement of a Young Professionals employment initiative.

Michigan Works of Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties received an $83,000 grant that it will use for its Developing Young Professionals program.

“We will use the funding to help those that are 16-24 years old with their next steps. We can assist youth with education, training, employment, leadership and skills development and financial literacy,” said Mary Morphey, manager of corporate communications for the Kinexus Group, which oversees Michigan Works. “Our team works one-on-one with individuals to accomplish their goals.”

People interested in taking part in the program can visit the following website and fill out a form: https://www.miworks.org/developing-young-professionals.

“This page is an excellent starting point for those that are interested,” Morphey said. “Once individuals fill out the form, our team is able to contact them and create a personalized path. Once individuals receive training, education, or become work-ready, our team helps place them into employment with a local employer. It’s a great opportunity for youth in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties.”