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January is National Mentoring Month

Michigan Business Beat
January 20, 2021 9:00 AM

michigan works associationChris Holman welcomes the Director of Communications for Michigan Works! Association, Steph Willis, to talk about National Mentoring Month. National Mentoring Month is an annual campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults. Steph covers why it important to bring awareness to this issue, how is Michigan Works! involved in mentoring, and where someone can learn more about becoming a mentor.

Watch the full interview with Steph now!


I understand January is National Mentoring Month. Why is it important to bring awareness to this issue?

· National Mentoring Month is an annual campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults.

· Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like drug use.

· In turn, the young people are:

o 55% more likely to be enrolled in college

o 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities

o 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities

o More than twice as likely to say they held a leadership position in a club or sports team

· Yet, the same research shows that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor.

I know you are passionate about mentoring, based upon your own experience as a mentor. Can you tell me more about that?

· When I think about mentoring, I recall the reward and the responsibility of volunteering as a middle school volleyball coach.

· A coach’s actions and words can build up a player’s confidence on the court, but the lessons learned are even more important off the court.

· As leaders, we are called to serve, to inspire others and to influence outcomes – at home, at work and at play.

· Whether you are a coach or working on the front lines at Michigan Works!, you can be the difference in someone’s life.

· It is important to have a role model for success, and someone you trust who can give you positive reinforcement and hold you accountable.

When people think of mentors, they most often think of adults mentoring youth. Mentoring is also very important in the workplace as well too, right?

· Businesses are constantly looking for ways to nurture and retain their best people.

· Fortunately for them, the majority of people also want to get fulfillment and satisfaction from their work.

· That’s where mentoring in the workplaces comes in.

· Mentoring in the workplace is an established partnership between colleagues for the purpose of learning and growth.

· There are some very interesting mentoring in the workplace statistics I want to share:

o 71% of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs.

o 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow.

o 67% of businesses reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring.

o 55% of businesses felt that mentoring had a positive impact on their profits.

o Mentoring programs boosted minority representation at the management level from 9% to 24%.

o Top reasons for millennials wanting to quit their jobs are “not enough opportunities to advance” at 35% and “Lack of learning and development opportunities” at 28%.

o 71% of people with a mentor say their company provides them with good opportunities to advance in their career, compared with 47% of those without a mentor.

o More than 4 in 10 workers who don’t have a mentor say they have considered quitting their job in the past three months.

o 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationships and have developed greater confidence.

· Mentoring in the workplace is beneficial to all involved – the mentor, the mentee and the organization.

How is Michigan Works! involved in mentoring?

· One of the many services that Michigan Works! offers is mentoring.

· Our front-line staff in the Michigan Works! offices across the state work with job seekers who are facing a wide variety of barriers.

· Michigan Works! connects with community partners to assist job seekers achieve their career goals.

· Sometimes reaching that goal requires a variety of steps including finding childcare; help with addiction; assistance with transportation and housing; just to name a few.

· Throughout that process, our Michigan Works! staff act as mentors to job seekers to ensure their success.

How can our listeners learn more about becoming a mentor?

· Thousands of people are looking for ways to help others.

· The Michigan Community Service Commission and Mentor Michigan supports more than 250 mentoring organizations across the state.

· These organizations match caring adults with young people in need of role models.

· If you are interested in becoming a mentor, I encourage you to visit the national MENTOR website at mentoring.org.

· MENTOR is a national organization working to expand the quality and quantity of youth mentoring relationships nationwide.

· On their website you can learn more about the role mentoring plays in our community and find volunteer opportunities in your own community.

How can our listeners learn more about the Michigan Works! Association and the Michigan Works! network?

· You can visit our website at michiganworks.org to learn more about the Association.

· On the Association website you will also find a map that will link you to the websites of each of our Michigan Works! organizations.

Michigan Business Beat, hosted by Chris Holman, discusses economic development, new or unusual entrepreneurial initiatives, and successful business practices from different regions and industries around Michigan with a wide range of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

8:00 AM every Monday through Friday
Replay: 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 2:00 AM The music for 'Michigan Business Beat' is graciously shared use of Phil Denny's "Traffic Jam" off his 2012 CD 'Crossover'

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