Employer Resource Networks

Employer Resource Networks (ERNs) were designed to respond to concerns of business owners about the retention of their workforces.

An ERN is made up of a consortia of businesses that leverage and share resources to benefit all member businesses. By efficiently utilizing community supports, assistance is provided to help individuals move into economic self-sufficiency.

A key service provided through ERNs is short-term, case management to confidentially resolve personal and family challenges that interfere with employment. Success coaches schedule time at each of the participating businesses to work with the individuals to address work-related challenges, such as lack of transportation, financial issues, childcare, housing, stress related issues, and drug or alcohol addictions.

With knowledge of the resources and services available in the community, success coaches are able to make referrals to local service providers to address the needs of the employee.

Partners in the Southwest Michigan Employer Resource Network include two credit unions. The participation of local credit unions provides access to short-term loans for emergency situations such as car repairs. As the participant is repaying the loan, they are building a savings account for future needs at the same time.

Benefits to the Community

  • Higher employment retention
  • Reduced hiring costs for businesses (higher retention = lower hiring costs)
  • An avenue for businesses to pool resources


  • Improved retention rates for employees of the participating employers
  • Some of the companies maintained 100% retention rate for three months

The Workforce Innovation Fund grant will be used to expand Employer Resource Networks.  To receive more information and/or learn how your company can become involved in Employer Resource Networks, contact Scott Cubberly, Project Manager for the Workforce Innovation Fund project.