Benton Harbor HS & Whirlpool Team Up for Mentorship Program


This week 45 Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) youth from Benton Harbor High School visited Whirlpool Corporation for a hands-on product innovation event as part of the Whirlpool Corporation Mentorship Program.

During this half-day event, Whirlpool employee mentors collaborated with the youth mentees to design and market an egg car. Aligned with Whirlpool Corporation’s Racial Equality Pledge, the mentorship program has been instrumental in serving nearly 70 JMG students from Benton Harbor High School over three consecutive years. This event marks one of six scheduled mentorship program events throughout the year.

JMG is the premier program of Youth Solutions, the nonprofit organization that aims to ensure every youth in Michigan has access to career-focused education, so they graduate with an actionable plan for postsecondary success.

Sonya Blanzy, Deputy Director of Youth Solutions, explained “With the notable talent shortage and the declining population in Michigan, bringing career exploration to youth and showing them multiple opportunities for good-paying jobs here in Michigan is so important. This partnership between Whirlpool and our JMG program at Benton Harbor High School is a great example of bridging the gap between education and the workforce. These youth are gaining valuable 21st-century skills while exploring multiple career pathways within an organization right in their backyard.”

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Nevaeh Stone, JMG youth from Benton Harbor High School, observed “Today’s event was a great way to use some of the skills I’ve learned while in JMG, leadership and collaboration especially, to complete the activity. The Whirlpool mentors listened to our ideas and helped us work through the potential outcomes. Today was a great opportunity to learn and practice real-world job skills.”

Program organizers feell that this mentorship program between the Benton Harbor High School JMG program and Whirlpool Corporation is a powerful example of partnerships within a community having an impact on youth and contributing to their future success. Youth in attendance had fun and gained valuable knowledge and job skills while building strong     relationships with the Whirlpool mentors.

Information for this story was supplied by Kinexus Group