Moving from high school to a career can be a difficult transition, but one recent DTE hire has earned recognition for his hard work and positive attitude in his pathway to employment. 
Every year, Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) nominates students or alumni they think embody their values of excellence, collaboration and leadership. These young people have excelled in coursework and shown exceptional leadership skills, despite facing barriers at home or in their communities. Basically, these young people show a never-give-up attitude in work and life. This year, Lewis Williams, maintenance fitter apprentice, is one of two Alumni winners. 
Williams worked multiple jobs in high school–from security to boarding up abandoned homes–to help make ends meet for his family, and took the bus between home, school and work since he didn’t have a car. Through the JMG program, which partners with over 70 organizations across the state, Williams gained access to resources to help transition into the workplace after high school. Because of his strong work ethic, he was chosen to go to the Jobs for America’s Graduates National Leadership Conference in Washington DC, where he learned public speaking and interview skills.  
After graduating from Detroit’s Cody High School in 2017 and completing an eight-week summer internship program at DTE, Williams enrolled in the Henry Ford College Power and Trades Pathways Program, which DTE helped develop and fund through the DTE Energy Foundation. In December, Williams earned full-time employment at DTE. 
Williams loves his job at DTE. “I’m learning so many different things every day and meeting new people,” he says. “Every day is different.”  
“Lewis always has a positive attitude and is such a joy to be around,” says Deborah Majeski, manager of the Center of Excellence, Workforce Development. “Lewis truly benefited from JMG employability skills and learned to pay it forward; he even helped one of his peers prepare for a job interview, and now that peer also works at DTE.” 
Our company also earned JMG’s Employer Champion of the Year recognition for the second time. DTE employs 35 JMG youth through summer work experience or full-time employment, and also hosts tours of our facilities and engages with JMG youth in schools. Our company was also recognized for our partnership with Henry Ford College.