Authors: Randy A. Yagiela
The Align Center aims to offer financial empowerment and training programs in a shared space for various organizations, but also fosters a collaborative culture focused on unified client pathways and employer-centric workforce certification. The project's goals are to create a unified resource center that addresses the gap in workforce training and local career development, especially for nontraditional clients overlooked by existing resources like MI Works. The leadership team, with a deep understanding of the intertwining of housing, transportation, and community needs, brings a holistic approach to workforce development. The project's economic impact is expected to be significant, with plans for a specialized campus catering to employer-specific skill needs, thereby generating living-wage jobs and attracting public/private investments. In summary, the Align Center project represents a comprehensive effort to revitalize a struggling community by integrating education, training, and economic development, with a focus on creating sustainable and equitable opportunities for the residents of Adrian and Lenawee County.
As development Director of Lenawee Now, Randy brings a level of strategic structure to the economic development process. He earned his Master’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Interdisciplinary Technology. As a consultant and Certified Workforce Development Professional, Yagiela helps to facilitate planning sessions at the Center. Since 2011, he has owned and operated Transformation Connection, which focuses on managing projects, grant writing, and creating constructive changes within companies and organizations.