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What's New

SNAC Committee

The Special Needs Advisory Committee (SNAC) is a new committee formed to ensure equity and access to appropriate Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming for students that would benefit. Additionally, this committee helps to both identify and implement necessary supports/strategies that are realistic for the workplace, and enable students with disabilities to be successful.

The committee is made up of special education representation from LEA's and the Saginaw ISD, as well as participants from a variety of local agencies. These agencies include MRS, DHHS, Disability Network, and other identified resource organizations that are able to provide assistance/transition services. The team will meet 2-3 times a year, with the first meeting being April 22nd, 2021 via Zoom.

Topics and agenda items that may be covered at committee meetings include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Representation of students with disabilities (SWD) across CTE programs.

  2. Appropriateness of placements

  3. Needed supports

  4. Student progress/trends

  5. Completion of certifications/credentials

  6. Barriers

  7. Career and Technical Student Organizations' (CTSO) representation of SWD

  8. Barriers to CTSO participation

  9. Resource allocation to address barriers

If you are interested in being part of this committee, please contact Jessica Bluhm.

Jessica Bluhm


989-399-7400 ext. 7109

STW Job Videos

The STW team has been working on providing more resources to local districts to support employment for students. One goal is to create a vast library of videos that are accompanied by sets of questions for students or their classes to discuss and answer. The videos cover a wide range of employment topics from checking your voicemail, workplace attire, and staying on task.

Think Cardinal

Think Cardinal is a pathway for students with an intellectual disability, as defined by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (2008), to have an inclusive college experience at Saginaw Valley State University. All courses and co-curricular experiences offered to Think Cardinal participants are open to all SVSU students. This program leverages a peer mentoring model to provide supports on campus where they are needed. Ultimately, the goal is to see students develop both personally and professionally, gain confidence in themselves and their skills, and establish a sense of community and support – many of the same goals we have for any college student.

To view the slide show, click the link button below.

Programs and Services

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The STW team has been meeting with 10th grade students this school year to identify future career interests and programs/services they can access while still in high school and beyond. Students have the opportunity to ask questions about programs while providing information about their own goals and aspirations.

This mapping process is in its 5th year and the STW team has met with over 800 students during that time. Information that is gathered is then shared with each student's caseload provider to support their transition plan.

In the Spotlight

Bonnie McInerney- Teacher Hemlock High School

Bonnie's first day at Hemlock was 8/17/1999. She was a paraprofessional at Merrill for about 10 years - some were part time. She was then asked by her principal and superintendent if she would want to work with a young man who needed one-on-one support. Bonnie loved it and went back to school to get her special education teaching degree - she hasn't regretted it.

Bonnie is honored to be selected to participate in the STW Team's monthly newsletter. As a Hemlock High School teacher, she has been around long enough to see and participate in many programs that have been a benefit to her students. The Delta Project for freshmen allowed her to nominate and write letters of recommendation for students that wanted to participate - the end result was that many students were better prepared for the move to college. Mapping for sophomores was implemented, and along with it was the opportunity to understand the students she worked with better. She was able to watch them interact with people they didn't know to discuss what they wanted for their futures, and obtain more pertinent information for future IEP's. She has helped many students connect with the School to Work team, often in their junior year, to help them prepare for and find their first paid job. During the senior year, many students with jobs are able to use the employment to receive elective credit toward graduation while working; the School to Work team assists with that. Nominating students, writing letters, setting up appointment times, keeping track of paperwork and working as a go between for the ISD and students has shown Bonnie what working together can do. Bonnie enjoys the collaboration, and is proud of what her students have been able to accomplish with the support of the great people she works with.

Bonnie is retiring this year after a very successful career in education. Denny Wickham and Deb van Benschoten have been collaborating and working with Bonnie over the past several years to provide STW services to students. One of Bonnie's students told Deb recently that he would not be graduating next year if it were not for Ms. McInerney. She has supported hundreds of students throughout her career, challenging them to reach their goals. Bonnie will be greatly missed next year because of her tremendous impact on students, colleagues, and her community.

Teddy Erskine-Student

Teddy Erskine is a great example of what can be accomplished with some hard work and dedication. He has been successfully employed at HealthSource Saginaw for the past three years, and loves being an employee there. He worked throughout the COVID pandemic shut down, and says that he enjoys his job and seeing his coworkers. Some of Teddy's many work duties include: working the dish line, emptying the trash, taking care of boxes, and sweeping and mopping. Teddy formerly attended Hemlock High School, and this year he will be completing the SOAR program at the Transitions Center. He is looking forward to camping, and spending time with his family this summer. Teddy also enjoys playing baseball and participating in Special Olympics.

Ashley Hine- STW Staff Member

Ashley Hine joined the School to Work team in May of 2020. Ashley previously worked as a Job Developer for eight years, and assisted students as they entered careers in the medical field. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Saginaw Valley State University. Go Cards! She currently works with students from Birch Run, Frankenmuth, Freeland, Heritage, and the Transitions Center. Ashley enjoys working with each student. She likes to get to know students better, and likes helping them along their journey to their first job. A native of Northern Michigan, Ashley particularly enjoys the outdoors. She spends a lot of her time hiking, camping, and taking her dog Tosh for walks.

The Maple Grille- Hemlock

Josh Schaeding and his family have embraced hiring students since they first opened in 2011. Anyone who hasn't eaten at the Maple Grille is definitely missing out! The Schaeding family have worked diligently to bring fresh farm-to-table food to the Saginaw area. Besides growing and cooking great cuisine, they also have a steadfast commitment to giving students their first jobs and helping them flourish. Most students come to the restaurant having had no prior work experience. They learn what it is to work hard, to be treated fairly, and learn the importance of working as a team to give customers a quality product.

Most students begin working at Maple Grille while in high school. Josh encourages students to find their passion and proves to be a great reference for them. For some, he promotes working part time while continuing their education locally. Others go off to college and return to work during their summer breaks. One outstanding student works 60 hours per week, and has purchased his own home and automobile with his earnings. The very first School to Work student placed at Maple Grille stayed there eight years. He learned what it takes to run a business, and then started his own. Shepherd Organic Farm, in turn, provides fresh organic food to Maple Grille, along with selling to the public. Shepherd Organic Farm also provided employment experiences to students last summer. On the day the photo was taken, the School to Work team encountered three former students who were working in the kitchen; they were cutting meat, washing dishes and cleaning vegetables. When given an opportunity, students often demonstrate they are successful and they take great pride in their work at Maple Grille. They were happy to jump in for a picture, and the School to Work team is happy to have such a longstanding and solid relationship with their employer.



MiABLE is Michigan's 529 Savings Program for individuals with disabilities. MiABLE accounts allow beneficiaries and their families to save and invest for future expenses, while providing economic self-sufficiency, and providing peace of mind for individuals and their families.

The money can pay for expenses such as:

  • Personal needs
  • Health care
  • Rent
  • Tuition
  • Vehicle purchases and MORE...

Statistically Speaking...

March 2021 School to Work Referrals


Arthur Hill- 1

Birch Run - 0

Carrollton/Omni- 3 (28 mapping referrals)

Chesaning - 0

Frankenmuth - 9

Freeland - 0

Heritage/Mackinaw- 7 (13 mapping referrals)

Hemlock/Alt Ed.- 1

Merrill- 0

Saginaw High - 2

St. Charles- 0

Swan Valley - 0

Transition Center- 1

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