WMCAT is one of 58 organizations from 24 states invited to join the Aspen Institute‘s Ascend Network for promising two-generation approaches to increasing economic security for families. The Ascend Network works to “mobilize empowered two-generation organizations and leaders to influence policy and practice changes that increase economic security, educational success, social capital, and health and well-being for children, parents, and their families.”

WMCAT was chosen for its innovative programming in moving families to economic security through career training and arts education, particularly new partnerships we have with the State of Michigan. We are strengthening our support services for students and families through a new partnership with local nonprofit The SOURCE and the State of Michigan’s Department of Human Services. This new program will place a DHS
retention specialist on site at WMCAT and connect WMCAT’s staff to the resources and expertise of The SOURCE’s case workers, giving our adult and teen students and their families greater access to support services in a world class facility, where they are already comfortable and participating in innovative programs and classes on a daily basis. We are also a designated Michigan Bridges Navigation site, offering access to DHS online services and trained staff assistance at our facility.

By bringing public assistance and additional support services in-house, we can better help our students build a foundation for economic security as they pursue pathways to new careers. WMCAT recognizes the importance of addressing the needs and removing the barriers for parents and children. We are excited to connect with Ascend Network peers on research, best practices and innovations in two-generation programming and policy. This is how we can truly move entire families to economic security and personal fulfillment.