The Lakeshore Employer Resource Network of Mason County (L.E.R.N.)  is a collaborative initiative between United Way of Mason County, Pennies from Heaven Foundation, Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Work! West Central and 12 member companies.   The participating companies employ a combined total of  approximately 2,400 people, which represents 18% of Mason County’s workforce.

The services provided through L.E.R.N. include providing a Success Coach who works on-site at each of the member companies.  Her primary role is to assist employees in removing barriers that may prevent an employee from being successful in the work place.  This may include helping employees to navigate the health and human service system,  obtain housing, locate child care, manage finances and more.

In addition to providing an on-site Success Coach, L.E.R.N. also provides a loan savings program and educational training to the employees of the member companies.

L.E.RN. has completed its third year of providing services in the workplace and has seen positive results, as follows:

  • 95.5% of the employees who received assistance retained their job.
  • 25% of the employees requesting assistance was in the area of financial literacy or financial management, followed by housing.
  • 81.42% of employees who participated in educational training sessions and responded to the survey indicated that they recommend the sessions to other employees in the company.
  • 55 employees received loans to assist them in meeting a financial need, with 93% being successfully paid off.