Center for Workforce Innovation and Solutions

The Center for Workforce Innovation and Solutions of the Upjohn Institute manages employment and training services for Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph counties, including programs under the Michigan Works! umbrella.

CWIS manages job training programs for multiple government-funded programs including:

  • Welfare-to-Work
  • School-to-Work
  • Public Employment Service
  • Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
  • Michigan Offender Success Model

CWIS' origin dates back to 1971, when along with the city and county of Kalamazoo, the Upjohn Institute helped plan, implement and administer a local employment program, created by the federal Emergency Employment Act. The program provided funding to finance job opportunities in local public service and nonprofit agencies for unemployed and disadvantaged workers. In 1974, the Institute’s participation evolved into the Employment Management Services Division to administer job training programs funded under federal and state government legislation. In 2021, EMSD rebranded as the Center for Workforce Innovation and Solutions, expanding its scope to a broader focus that includes a range of programs including the Employer Resource Network, Neighborhood Employment Hubs, and Pulse.