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D.A. Blodgett – St.John’s Honors Mill Steel with Daisy Franks Award
July 26, 2017 9:01am

Each year, the DA Blodgett – St. John’s Board of Directors reviews a list of nominees for the Daisy Franks Recruitment Award and selects an individual or company who best exemplify Daisy’s commitment to the children and families served by the agency. These have included mentors within the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program, foster or adoptive parents, or volunteers who have actively recruited others to join them. In recognition of its dedication and commitment to bringing the Bigs In Business (BIB) program to West Michigan, Mill Steel is the 2017 winner of the Daisy Franks Recruitment Award.

The newest program through Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), called Bigs in Business, is a workplace mentoring program, providing one-on-one mentoring between high school students and a corporation’s employees in a group setting. BBBS strategically approached Mill Steel as the first Bigs in Business pilot partner to expand the current relationship and connect with their professional staff. Bigs in Business is now a permanent fixture in Mill Steel’s daily operations, and it is encouraging other businesses to replicate and implement the program in their workplaces.

The goal of the collaboration among East Kentwood, Mill Steel, and BBBS is to provide workplace mentoring opportunities for high school youths. Through safe, supported, mentoring relationships, youths in the program are exposed to the world of work and are taught skills necessary to reach their full potential. The program reinforces the importance of academics, vocational, and social skill development, and offers associates meaningful volunteer opportunities that can boost morale and engagement during the workday.

Mill Steel’s staff is matched with students based on their personalities and preferences. Once a month sessions include relationship, educational, and skill building activities. Mill Steel provides the mentors, space, food, and transportation for all mentees. The most recent season of the program, spanning from October to May, included 16 participating matches and the company plans to continue the program with the next school year.