In collaboration with five area businesses, United Way of Midland County recently launched an Employer Resource Network (ERN) that embeds a Success Coach at each of their business locations. The role of the coach is to deliver long-term coaching, allowing for a holistic approach to provide solutions and create wrap-around services for work/life success for employees.

The Formula for Success Employer Resource Network (ERN) helps employees access services and training resources. The services are confidential and can help employees improve employment skills, overcome personal barriers and help with work/life balance. Additionally, there is also a loan program available with a built-in savings component through a collaboration with Members First Credit Union.

Another great aspect of the partnership is the innovative solutions that will come from the table of company members in an effort to meet the common needs of their employees.

“We understand that life is complicated and there are times that issues at home will affect performance at work—a sick child, car repairs, financial debt, a struggle with emotional illness or substance use, just to name a few,” Ann Fillmore, United Way of Midland County’s Executive Director stated. “The Formula for Success ERN can help individuals get through those tough times and help them regain their lives. Supported employees create a stable and loyal workforce. The participating businesses recognize talent as a differentiator for success and they don’t sit back and let the market take care of the outcome,” Fillmore added.

The following businesses are part of this initiative:

  • MidMichigan Health, Lead Organization
  • Greater Midland Community Centers
  • Midland Business Alliance (Sponsoring 5 employers with 50 or fewer employees)
  • Midland Public Schools
  • Three Rivers Corporation

Employees can schedule appointments with Success Coach Jennifer Sanchez on-site at their place of business, at any of the other partner business sites, or at United Way of Midland County.

There are opportunities available for additional companies to join the program, with each participating business paying between $6,000 and $8,000 annually for the service. Fillmore hopes the initiative will also encourage employee retention—sharing the average cost for employee turnover is approximately $3,500. The average employer membership cost is comparable to two employee turnovers.

“At MidMichigan Health, this benefit in addition to our EAP is another way we’re choosing to invest in our employees. We believe that if our employees can come to work with fewer worries from home, they will be more effective in their roles, and able to further contribute to our organizational success,” shared Colleen Market, Manager Workforce Development at MidMichigan Health. “I believe that Greg Ghilardi, our Vice President of Human Resources, put it best when saying that participating in the ERN is just ‘the right thing to do.’ We are thankful to Ann Fillmore and her team at United Way of Midland County for bringing us this innovative opportunity to further support our employees,” added Markel.

United Way of Midland County collaborated with the Michigan ERN to launch Formula for Success. This ERN is the 13th ERN launched in Michigan since 2008. Nearly 100 Employer Members service 35,000 employees, representing industry sectors of manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, retail and nonprofits. Members range from smaller employers with a workforce of 50 employees to large companies with 5,000 employees. ERNs experience an average of 16% of their employees utilizing the Success Coach, with retention rates of 95% and ROI of 175-330%

Initial funding was provided for this new initiative from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Other partners include, The Department of Health and Human Services and 211 of NE Michigan.

To learn more about the Formula for Success Employer Resource Network, visit or “like” the Formula for Success Midland page on Facebook.