BIG RAPIDS—With the cutoff deadline for cash assistance enacted under recent welfare reform rapidly approaching, Michigan Works! West Central offers all job seekers, including those who may soon be losing their benefits, a full complement of tools and tips to help them find employment.

Earlier this month, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a package of legislation that limited at 48 months the amount of time able-bodied residents can receive state cash assistance. The new law will take effect on Oct. 1 and is expected to immediately end cash assistance for approximately 11,000 Michigan cash assistance cases. Michigan is also tightening up the long-standing 60-month lifetime limitation requirement by the federal government for welfare recipients.

Paul Griffith, executive director of Michigan Works! West Central, said that of the approximate 11,000 statewide cash assistance cases affected, only 27 belong to the five-county Michigan Works! West Central region, and more specifically, includes three cases in Osceola County.

“Families in our area have been hit hard by Michigan’s economy,” said Griffith. “We are working closely with our local Department of Human Services office to identify those being affected by this new legislation. We will work one-on-one with people who are reaching their 48 or 60-month limitation and provide them the tools they need to find and retain employment.”

Michigan Works! West Central offers a wide range of services to meet the needs of those seeking employment including local job postings, job search tips, resume and cover letter writing assistance, mock interviewing, information on occupational training, workshops to assist with employment searches and more.

“Many people don’t realize that our employment services are available to everyone, including those who are already employed and may be looking to switch careers or maybe want to improve their interviewing skills,” said Griffith.

Michigan Works! is located at 240 E. Church Avenue in Reed City. For more information call (231) 832-3131.