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Kent County Services

Job Seekers: If you are looking for a job, Hope Network Workforce Development can help. We serve Grand Rapids and surrounding cities.

Hope Network WFD provides a series of workshops focused on employment readiness to assist participants in understanding what is needed to obtain and maintain employment. Participants learn how to complete applications, create a resume, what is required to obtain and maintain employment, create a personal budget, and participate in a mock interview.

Hope Network uses the O*Net Ability Profiler and Interest Profiler to help participants discover the type of work activities and occupations that they are capable of doing, would enjoy and find exciting. Clients identify and learn about broad interest areas most relevant to themselves. We use these assessment results to explore the world of work and help plan their work lives.

Hope Network Workforce Development is focused on taking into consideration a participant’s work history, skills set, and individual/family needs to develop an Individual Written Placement Plan (IWPP). Career Development Specialists meet one-on-one with participants to complete the IWPP. Based on information received, we are able to determine the course of action. This may include: attending employment readiness workshops, connectivity to needed resources, attachment to a paid Transitional Work Experience (TWE), connecting to Grand Rapids Community College’s Tassell M-TEC center, and/or placement.

Hope Network Workforce Development has a Career Center with computers for participants to use to create a resume, check email, and to search and apply for jobs. Career Development Specialists have developed relationships with area businesses/employers, promoting the solid business case for hiring candidates that are job-ready; matched to the employer’s position/culture; and receiving post-hire supports to facilitate both successful integration into the workplace and long-term retention. Our Career Development Specialists provide participants with job leads relevant to their skills set, experience, and interest areas.

Hope Network Workforce Development provides participants in each program support services. Although each program varies according to funding provisions, all programs provide case management, job referral, placement and follow along support services once the participant is employed to assist in maintaining employment. Some of the other support services provided may include transportation assistance, interview clothing, work tools, and work clothing/boots.

Hope Network Workforce Development has agreements with area employers to provide paid Transitional Work Experiences. TWEs are an integral part of assisting participants to understand how to be successful in competitive employment. TWEs are temporary work that provide participants with quick attachment to income. Hope Network has two Tiers of TWEs: The Tier 1 TWE offers opportunities for individuals to engage in pro-social activity; experientially learn both hard and soft skills, and gain recent work history. Tier 1 TWEs allow participants full-time paid work experiences for the purpose of assessment. Wages are usually paid at minimum wage. Tier 1 TWEs generally require more intensive services and are typically 90 days in length but can be longer if the participant is still preparing for the next position to ensure stabilization.

The Tier 2 TWE connects participants considered work ready to potential permanent employment opportunities with employers within the community. Tier 2 TWEs are typically 90 days in length and pay minimum wage and up. If the TWE site employer decides to hire the participant, the TWE Lead provides assistance in the transition from TWE participant to employee in addition to providing retention services for up to one year post-hire.

Hope Network has a TWE Lead whose responsibility is to be the liaison between Workforce Development/partner organizations and the TWE Site. The TWE Lead is responsible for prescreening prior to placement in either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 TWE. Once placed in the TWE, the TWE Lead provides follow-along support. Follow-along support includes communication with the TWE site supervisors or HR contact, participant, and case manager regarding performance to ensure success, with same day communication if a significant issue arises.

The Wheels to Work program has been on the road since June 12, 2016 and was launched in the city of Walker to help connect employees with employers. The program utilizes Hope Network’s buses and software to efficiently line up rides for employees in need of transportation. The Rapid helps with rides through the program in some cases.

Wheels to Work assists employees with transportation to and from work for a nominal fee. The program operates through payroll deductions with the employer and employee sharing the cost. The employee portion of the fee is deducted from the employee’s paycheck, and Hope Network bills employers for their total usage. Often, new hires don’t have the money to pay for transportation at the point of hire so many employers have committed to paying the entire transportation fee until the employee receives their first paycheck.

Employers: Hope Network has more than  50 years’ experience in assisting the business community with employment solutions.

The benefits include:

  • Reduced time and dollars spent on recruitment and training
  • Individualized employer matching process
  • Opportunities to meet diversity goals
  • Opportunities to reinvest and strengthen your community
  • On the job support for onboarding and retention
  • Opportunities recruit employees with diverse abilities


Hope Network Workforce Development offers employers an opportunity to look at potential employees via our paid Transitional Work Experiences (TWE). TWEs are temporary work that provide employers with qualified candidates who are ready to work wherein Hope Network is the employer of record for up to 90 days.

This is accomplished via a TWE Agreement between Hope Network and the employer. The employer informs us of open positions. We will prescreen potential candidates to ensure a good job match based on information provided by the employer. While in the TWE we work closely with the employer to provide follow along support to the employee and employer as needed. Follow along support includes communication with the TWE site supervisors/HR contact, participant and case manager regarding performance to ensure success. If the TWE site employer decides to hire the participant, we provide assistance in the transition from TWE participant to employee in addition to providing retention services for up to one year post-hire.

Our goal is to provide employers with candidates that are a good job fit and work site culture match for your company. We accomplish this by reviewing the individual’s employment needs, skills set and work history with regard to the employer’s requirements and expectations. In some cases Hope Network will administer and review employer required assessments, interview, administer drug screen, and connect the Work Ready candidate to the potential work site.

Hope Network has been integral is creating transportation solutions for employers who are not on the public transportation bus line. Wheels to Work is available to employers located and employees working in the Walker Corridor.

We have a diverse job pool of qualified individuals who are ready to work. These individuals have been determined to be work-ready based on one or more of the following:

  • Completion of our employment readiness classes
  • Review of work history and experience
  • Successful completion of a Transitional Work Experience

Hope Network Workforce Development wants to assist employers with workforce solutions to reduce time and dollars spent on recruitment and training. These workforce solutions include:

  • Work-ready candidates that are prescreened to ensure a good job fit;
  • Employer of Record Services wherein Hope Network provides employers with temp-to-hire candidates with Hope Network being the employer of record
  • Transportation solutions including Wheels to Work

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