M-HRDI: Workforce Development Solutions

By Aaron Leson

Historical Perspective

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (or WIA) is a United States federal law passed August 7, 1998, and was enacted to replace the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) from 1982 with new workforce investment systems. The JTPA law was the successor to the previous federal job training legislation, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). CETA was enacted to establish federal assistance programs to prepare youth and unskilled adults for entry into the labor force and to provide job training to economically disadvantaged and other individuals with barriers to employment. It was part of the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development project initiated by the United States Department of Labor in the 1930s.


M-HRDI's Thirty Year History

Michigan State AFL-CIO Human Resources Development, Inc. (M-HRDI) is a private non-profit (501c3) corporation established and operated to provide employment and training services to unemployed Michigan residents. M-HRDI has successfully operated publicly funded employment and training projects in Michigan for over thirty years.


HRDI’s primary source of support is the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) which makes funds available through the State of Michigan and Local Michigan Works agencies. This allows the organization to provide job training, job placement and related services to displaced workers, economically disadvantaged youth and adults, and welfare recipients. M-HRDI contracts with these entities to provide direct services to eligible Michigan residents.


The history of the organization dates back to 1982 when HRDI began providing training services to displaced workers in its Jackson, Michigan, office. This function was expanded in 1983 under HRDI’s first State of Michigan JTPA contract. From July 1, 1983 forward, Michigan HRDI has been the largest independent provider of displaced worker services in the State of Michigan.


From its early formation to the present day, much of the success of the organization can be attributed to its core beliefs in providing comprehensive business services to employers and to the utilization of on-the-job-training (OJT).


Business Services

The business services unit of M-HRDI was created to offer services to meet recruitment, hiring, training, expansion, and retention needs of employers. The organization’s business professionals provide support to existing business and industry leaders in hopes of improving profitability and maintaining a quality workforce. The services offered to employers include:



On-The-Job-Training (OJT)

Under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), on-the-job-training refers to training by an employer that is provided to a WIA-eligible new hire. It is designed to allow employers to hire, train, and retain employees in full-time, permanent jobs. M-HRDI utilizes OJTs to match employers with qualified applicants who are eager to work, but need specialized training that can only be supplied by their new employer. The training takes place during the initial phase of employment at the worksite and provides the employer with the following benefits:



The Future

Despite decreases in federal allocations and the current trend in Michigan by funding sources to take program operations in-house, M-HRDI continues its efforts to assist companies and job seekers throughout the state. For more information regarding M-HRDI, please visit www.mhrdi.org.





Aaron LesonAaron Leson, BA, NCDA CDF Master Trainer, is currently serving as the Coordinator in the Three Rivers Michigan Works! Office, overseeing the implementation of WIA Adult and DW services and business service solutions in St. Joseph County. Before this, he held the position of Program Manager and Lead Career Development Facilitator for the same organization. His previous work, outside of direct career development services, was as a social studies teacher and an elementary school principal. Aaron has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Psychology, and History from Spring Arbor University and is certified as a Business Solutions Professional, a Career Development Facilitator Instructor, and a Master Trainer through the National Career Development Association. Through his current employer, Michigan Human Resources Development Inc., he serves as a corporate trainer delivering a diverse selection of trainings throughout the state. His specialties are training, consulting, and facilitating for individuals, groups, and corporations. He can be reached at lesonaaron7@yahoo.com

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1 Comment

Marjorie Hendrickson   on Tuesday 12/03/2013 at 03:30 PM

Great article clearly explaining a complicated topic.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the comments shown above are those of the individual comment authors and do not reflect the views or opinions of this organization.