In 2007, A high proportion of the City of Pontiac’s population was culturally, linguistically, and socio-economically marginalized, resulting in significant barriers to employment. Due to the disparities experienced as a result of the plant closures, the City of Pontiac was thrust into a municipal financial crisis. Therefore, the governance of the City of Pontiac was overseen by an Emergency City Manager. 


One of the solutions to the City’s crisis was a comprehensive urban strategy for Michigan’s youth targeting dropout prevention, recovery, and graduation. Alongside those disenfranchised by the layoffs. The strategy involved Oakland Schools/JobLink Service Center entering into a Workforce Development Consortium agreement with other Michigan Works! locations.

In 2007, Theresa Styles, Ph.D. MBA dba eStylesConsulting spearheaded the first technology-enabled learning adult education and training pilot program in a Michigan Works facility in Oakland County and second in the State of Michigan. 


Workforce Development Program Training & Education Model:

Dr. Styles entered into a contract with Oakland Schools/Michigan Works JobLink Service Center to provide a comprehensive learning system revolutionizing the relationship between employers, educators, learners, and technology. During her years at the facility (2007-2013), Dr. Styles utilized JobLinks' five labs and over 50 computers to offer Joblinks' customers 1) Literacy and GED Preparation & Testing program, 2) ACT National Career Readiness Certificate program and 3) Basic Skills Curriculum employing Pearson's NovaNet online curriculum comprehensive interactive system.

The program model, a technology-enabled learning program, was proven effective in working with Michigan Works Joblink program participants and customers.  The model provided flexible and individualized learning paths and open-entry and open-exit scheduling to address dispositional, situational, and institutional factors that often impede marginalized learners from completing training and employment programs. (Styles, ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University )

  • NovaNet system: Measured a student's reading, math, science, social studies, and writing aptitude level.

  • Learning Advancement: Addressed the dropout, social/economic, and illiteracy problems within the City of Pontiac and surrounding metropolitan areas.

  • Performance Objective: Research and statistical analysis of programs implemented

  • Readiness Program: National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)

  • Instructional Design: Strategic change communication solutions such as guidebooks, playbooks, process/training guides. 

  • Partnership Programs: Partnership developed with non-profit organizations through Oakland County-collaborative learning networks.

ACT National Career Readiness Certificate- ACT WorkKeys was an important step towards preparing adult learners for 21st-century employment. KeyTrain Online Learning Resource, alongside, NovaNet Comprehensive learning paths was utilized for skill remediation for participants to successfully pass WorkKeys Assessment (ACT) leading to NCRC Certification. These additional components within  Dr. Styles' program addressed skill discrepancies, enhance learners' basic workplace skills scores, thus, preparing participants to enter job education programs, apprenticeships, and post-secondary education.

From 2007-2013, Theresa Styles, Ph.D., MBA dba eStylesconsulting, and Michigan Works JobLink Service Center increased the quality and accessibility of education by expanding its partnership and collaboration with JobLink's initiative program. The initiative increased participants' enrollment in occupational technical learning opportunities to increase employability.


The ongoing relationship between Dr. Styles and Michigan Works JobLink Service Center transformed workforce development by providing extensive training and educational opportunities within the City of Pontiac.  The program helped address the need of local businesses by creating a pathway for dislocated workers to enter programs to increase their chances of employment, therefore, creating positive results within the Pontiac community.



Demographics: Young adults, ages 18+, homeless, individuals with offender status, dropouts, and qualified U.S. Veterans and spouses through Literacy/GED Preparation and Basic Skills remediation. Support Services, Work Experiences Opportunities/Job Placement, National Career Readiness Certification, Mentoring & Life Skills.



  • By 2013, 95% of participants obtained their GED credential and over 50% enrolled in postsecondary education or workforce training programs.


  • Implemented the National Career Readiness Workkeys Certification (ACT) program, 98% success rate-over 133 participants received their NCRC credential needed for workforce training.


  • With the success rate of our GED Preparation/Remediation and National Career Readiness (NCRC) program of Oakland Schools/JobLink Service Center Training and Educational Pilot Program-JobLink recognized by the State Of Michigan Department of Career Development as an official GED Testing and National Career Readiness Certification Testing site and remediation program.