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2018 Michigan Works! Impact Awards

A Ludington resident and the employer she works for, were two of many employment successes honored by state leaders at the Michigan Works! Impact Awards February 21st in Lansing. The annual ceremony brings lawmakers and hundreds of economic achievers together to honor Michigan businesses, employees and Michigan Works! Agencies from across the state.

39-year old Amanda Franklin of Ludington was honored for starting a new career despite a criminal record and a history of drug abuse. Franklin spent most of her adult life addicted to crack cocaine and other drugs. She says it wasn’t until her 12-year old son discovered her in the bath tub after she overdosed that she quit using. “I got clean and sober for my son in 2012,” she said. “My main focus was keeping my family.” 

  (Pictured left to right: Amanda Franklin and Shayla Savich)

Franklin says she also wanted to find a new job, but feared her past would be an obstacle. So she turned to Michigan Works! West Central in Ludington for help. Her case manager Shayla Savich was able to enroll her in the PATH program which stands for Partnership, Accountability, Training and Hope. While Franklin was able to receive cash assistance through the program, more importantly she was also able to get help with her resume, cover letter and interviewing skills. The program was also able to provide her with professional attire and transportation to her job interview.

Through her own hard work, and with the support of Michigan Works!, Franklin was offered a position as a Certified Peer Recovery Coach for West Michigan Community Mental Health (WMCMH) in Ludington. The employer was also honored with an Impact Award.

State Senator Darwin Booher and State Representative Curt VanderWall both attended the ceremony and presented Franklin and WMCMH with special tributes.

Franklin meanwhile says her past was a life lesson and not a life sentence. “As people overcome their addictions, I have the joy of walking their journey with them and helping them turn their lives around,” she said. “Shayla went above and beyond. I wouldn’t have this job if it weren’t for Michigan Works!.”

To see more about how Amanda now helps others, click here to see her story on TV 9&10 News. Her story was also featured on the front page of the Ludington Daily News which you can read by clicking here.

(Pictured left to right back row: Paul Griffith- Executive Director, Michigan Works! West Central, Vickey Stalmack-Amanda's Mother, John Stalmack-Amanda's Father, Clinton Franklin-Amanda's Husband, Shayla Savich- Career Development Specialist, Michigan Works! West Central) 

(Pictured front row: Mason Stalmack-Amanda's Son, Joshua Snyder-West Michigan Community Mental Health/Award Recipient, Larry Emig-LEO Chair, Michigan Works! West Central, Amanda Franklin-West Michigan Community Mental Health/Award Recipient, State Senator Darwin Booher and State Representative Curt VanderWall)