Southwest Michigan ERN - Kalamazoo (SWMERN)

Founded: 2011
Southwest Michigan ERN - Kalamazoo (SWMERN)

ERN Program ROI: 628%


ERN Program Employee Retention: 99.3%


Workforce Utilizing ERN Program: 2.8%


Distinct Employees Served: 166


Source: Sept 2015-Oct 2016 YE Report



Onsite Success Coaching

The core of the ERN model is onsite confidential Success Coaching that employees can access on a predictable, ongoing basis - no more wasted hours in social services offices. Success Coaches offer direct connection to community resources for any challenges they are facing at work or at home. Employees who face a crisis from lack of resources can get immediate, personal relief at the workplace. Training and advanced education for work-based skills or life skills can be focused goals along with barrier reduction. Services are available to all ERN member employees. Success Coaches accommodate all shifts with off-site locations and alternate meeting times available upon request.

SWERN Video: Kalamazoo (Kelli Adams)

SWMERN Success Coach, Kelli Adams, highlights the benefits and opportunities for SWMERN member employees and employers.

Download the free Driven to Succeed Ride Share App!

Do you need transportation to/from work or would you like to make some extra cash picking up a co-worker on your way? Download the Driven to Succeed app free (developed in partnership with ERN USA) at the App Store for iPhone and Android. Request the passcode from your Success Coach. Please follow instructions provided below and review the Privacy Policy.

Driven to Succeed Privacy Policy

Please review the Privacy Policy for the Driven to Succeed App.

Hardship Loan & Savings Program

Partner: Kalsee Credit Union

Purpose: The Bridge Loan provides a financial resource for the Success Coach and clients, allowing the coach to connect clients to fair and reputable lending. These loans help clients overcome financial burdens that may be negatively impacting their life including auto repairs, credit repair, payday lending traps, appliance purchases, debt, and family emergencies. It is offered as a last resort for employees facing a financial emergency.

Savings Component: The loan includes a savings component which requires a $10 per week deposit into a savings account. The savings commitment is added to the loan repayment amount, which is placed into a savings account that does not allow withdrawals until the loan is paid in full. At the end of the payment plan, the client will accumulate over $520 in savings. Upon pay-off, the client is encouraged to continue the habit of savings. This not only teaches the client the importance of saving, but also acts as a safety net for the bank/credit union. If an employee is terminated while in payments, the savings account is released back for the lending institution to cover any unpaid remaining portion of the loan.

Southwest Michigan Employer Resource Network (SWMERN) Study

The goal of this study is to learn about the ways in which the SWMERN program (which provides the success coach you are meeting with) helps job seekers and employees find and retain employment. SWMERN is a network of employers, including your current employer. The expansion of the SWMERN program is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The study is being run by a company called Social Policy Research Associates (SPR). The surveys will ask you about your satisfaction with the success coach and the types of services you received. You will not be required to submit the survey, but your participation would be very helpful.

Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF)

The WIF grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor, to the W.E. Upjohn Institute, in partnership with Michigan ERN to expand the Southwest Michigan ERN to all four counties in the Michigan Works! Southwest Area.

Heating Bill Success

Get inspired by other employees' success stories! Many people find it difficult to pay big Consumers bills after a hard Michigan winter. Laquesha found herself with a large Consumer’s bill that she couldn’t afford and sought out her Success Coach. A bridge loan through Kalsee Credit Union eased this immediate burden and the stress it was causing. Continued work on monthly budgeting with her Success Coach will ensure a smooth winter this year. Laquesha recommends that any employee contact their Success Coach with any problem.

  Employer Members-Investors

  • Bell's Brewery, Inc.
  • Bronson Healthcare Group
  • Consumer's Credit Union
  • Fabri-Kal
  • Greenleaf  Hospitality Group
  • Heritage Community of Kalamazoo
  • Impact Label
  • Summit Polymers

  Strategic Partners

  • Kalsee Credit Union
  • Michigan DHHS
  • Michigan ERN
  • Michigan Works! Southwest
  • WE Upjohn Institute