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2017 Michigan Works! Impact Awards

Big Rapids Resident Honored at State Awards Ceremony

Leora Bain Presented with 2017 Impact Award

State leaders came together in Lansing to celebrate hundreds of employment successes at the Michigan Works! Impact Awards on Wednesday, February 22. The annual ceremony brings lawmakers and economic achievers together to honor Michigan businesses, employees and Michigan Works! Agencies from across the state for their efforts to create jobs and develop fresh talent in their communities. Big Rapids resident Leora Bain was recognized, along with Michigan Works! West Central and Ferris State University.

Bain credits her experience with Michigan Works! West Central with helping her overcome a troubled past that included foster care, abuse and homelessness. Through her engagement and training with Michigan Works!, Bain completed her nursing degree at Ferris State University and now works as a Registered Nurse at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services Services in Grand Rapids. “We are not a statistic, we are people, and people are capable of making choices,” said Bain. “It’s been amazing working with Michigan Works!. I don’t know how I can ever put into words what they did for me.” 

  (Pictured left to right: Leora Bain and David Eisler)

impact award winner standing with president of ferris state universityFerris President David L. Eisler was also at the awards ceremony. “This is Leora’s story and it’s an inspirational story,” Eisler told the audience. “Her story is a really wonderful example of how Michigan Works! can change people’s lives. But the piece that it requires is the person…the person who has the determination to really succeed and overcome their situation. We were honored to have Leora as a student.”

State Senator Judy Emmons and State Representative Michele Hoitenga presented Bain with a special tribute following Eisler’s remarks. "Ms. Bain’s story reflects the supportive power inherent in the Michigan Works! System,” said Emmons. “By making resources available via a totally customer-centric model, people can get just what they need, just when they need it.”

Michigan Works! West Central, has service centers in Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana and Osceola counties and offers a myriad of free services to both employers and job seekers. For more information or to find your local center, please visit To read more about the challenges Leora faced growing up CLICK HERE.

(Pictured left to right back row: David Eisler-President, Ferris State University, State Representative Michele Hoitenga, State Senator Judy Emmons, Larry Emig-LEO Chair, Michigan Works! West Central, Susan Owens-Chair, School of Nursing, Ferris State University, Deborah Smith-Olson-WDB Chair, Michigan Works! West Central and Paul Griffith- Executive Director, Michigan Works! West Central) 
(Pictured front row: Leora Bain, her husband Daniel and their three children and Christopher Marshall-Clinical Services Manager, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services)