Partnership, Accountability, Training, Hope

The PATH program helped Alexandra Favors find a career. Read her story

Removing barriers

PATH is a fundamental change in the way families move off welfare and become self-sufficient. Under this approach, Michigan Works! Agencies and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) work together to remove barriers to work and connect Michigan families with the kinds of jobs, education and training that lead to long-term self-sufficiency.

SEMCA has six PATH offices located in Dearborn, Highland Park, Livonia, Monroe, Southgate and Wayne. All PATH customers are referred to the program by their local DHHS office and are assigned to Michigan Works! based upon their zip code.


The program prepares customers for the workforce by connecting them with workforce readiness supports including education and training that can lead to long-term career placements and advancements to become self-sufficient. PATH will reduce the number of people who rely on cash assistance and remove the barriers that return families to the cycle of poverty by limiting the time that individuals can receive cash assistance to 48 months. PATH’s main goal is helping families become self-sufficient and keep them permanently attached to the labor force.

What can PATH do for you?

Exciting opportunities in Employment, Work Experience and Training.

What should I expect at the orientation?

Orientation plays a vital role in your success. Arrive early, and make sure you do the following:

  • Be prepared to stay for the entire orientation (See your referral form for scheduled times)

    • Make arrangements for child care

    • Reschedule all appointments (including medical, WIC, DHHS, etc.)

    • Dress appropriately (Business Attire)

    • After completing Orientation, transportation options can be made available

What type of paperwork will I be expected to complete?

Your DHHS worker has provided you with a referral form

You will be required to present this particular form along with the following:

  • Referral from DHS (4785)

  • Driver’s license

  • Social Security Card

  • Contact information

  • Previous employment

  • Pay Stubs (if applicable)

What is AEP?

AEP or Applicant Eligibility Period is a 21 day process in which PATH staff work with you to identify and reduce barriers which may prevent you from participating or securing employment. During this time you and your Career Development Facilitator will work together to determine how best to address your barriers and then identify assignments you will complete which will help you become eligible for PATH and receive your cash assistance.

Will I be working with someone closely, that will guide me through this process?

Yes, you will be assigned to a Career Development Facilitator (CDF) that will closely work with you to achieve the following:

  • Identify short and long term goals

  • Identify barriers

  • Identify training opportunities

  • Explain supportive services available to you

What am I expected to attend as part of my career preparation?

There are many workshops that will prepare you for your job search period:

  • Employment application

  • Resume writing

  • Interviewing

  • Business writing (cover letters, thank you letters)

  • Networking

  • Dress for success

  • Identify marketable skills

  • Job retention

  • Career trends

  • Complete FAST

  • Financial budgeting

  • Time management

How will I be able to gain additional skills and add more to my resume?

There will be many opportunities depending on your past employment history and your future career goals. Some of them are stated below:

  • Work Experience Opportunities

    • Fill gaps in your employment history

    • Gain valuable skills

    • Network with professionals

  • Educational opportunities

    • Training approved by PATH staff

    • Internships and clinicals

    • Learn skills in industries such as: Medical, Transportation, Manufacturing, and other career paths.

  • Supportive Services (Provided on a Case by Case Basis)

    • Bus tickets/work and school related transportation assistance

    • Gas cards

    • Car insurance

    • Car repair

    • Car purchase

    • Interview attire/uniforms

    • Work related testing fees

The services described above are part of a larger picture that we at SEMCA Michigan Works! envision. Our goal is to establish and maintain a close mentoring relationship before and after the program. We ask that any questions or concerns that you may have to address them with you Career Development Facilitator. Communication and the desire to improve your life and the lives of your children will be your key to success!