MiWorks! LiftUP

Opportunity:  MiWorks Upward Talent Council is the leading talent agency in the Upper Peninsula region. The organization is 100% publicly funded and provides free services to employers and job seekers.


Over the past few years, regional employers started to struggle with talent retention and needed a solution. MiWorks stepped up and created a program that was modeled from other successful ones around the state. But, for the first time, the MiWorks team found themselves challenged with having to “sell” a service. For an organization and culture that’s in the business of providing free services, they recognized they would need a new approach.


MiWorks hired Marketing Department, Inc. to help them develop a brand and sales strategy for this new program with two very distinct audiences: employers and at-risk employees.



As experts in B2B marketing and everything U.P., we developed a plan and brand strategy that would create immediate visibility.

First, we branded the program “LiftUP,” and created a strong message platform that we tested with manufacturing CEOs. Then we armed MiWorks with well-designed sales materials and built them an attractive website which allowed them to confidently sell the program to CEOs and managers.

Next, our team created messaging that appeals to at-risk employees and encourages them to enroll in the program. Our final step was to incorporate the messaging and brand platform in support materials for employers to share.


LiftUP is now a successful and growing program. MiWorks Upward Talent Council continues to expand the program across the Upper Peninsula. And while MiWorks is thrilled that companies are eagerly adopting the program, the real win is that U.P. manufacturers are increasing their retention rates and employees are more successful with work and life.