Michael Christner is one of CWEE’s Career Advisor Leads. In this role, Michael is responsible for supporting a caseload of participants throughout their time with CWEE on their path to self-sufficiency and into employment. Michael brings 16 years of experience as a TANF case manager and broad expertise in helping participants find their individual pathways to success.
Prior to joining CWEE, Michael was a Senior Employment Specialist/Career Coach for Larimer County’s Colorado Works program. He managed a caseload of 80-90 TANF families, providing intensive and confidential support and guidance. Michael helped his participants identify their long- and short-term career goals and to create individual plans with action steps tailored to each person’s unique situation. He referred participants to medical, mental health/addiction counseling, housing assistance and other community resources and collaborated with other agencies to maximize resources and services for families. Michael also developed, implemented and facilitated job readiness workshops for program participants and assisted with high school equivalency programs.
Michael has attended multiple trainings and workshops on brain development, executive function and self-regulation. He understands how scarcity of basic resources can result in toxic stress and limited ability to make sound decisions. He uses a trauma-informed approach to counseling his participants and has found that this results in more meaningful interactions and better outcomes. He effectively supports participants to improve their soft skills by incorporating his understanding of brain science into his personalized approach to career counseling. Michael has also been trained in Mathematica’s Goal4It coaching model, an effective tool to help participants to intentionally identify, structure, pursue and achieve their goals.
Michael has worked as a firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service, an instructor for Colorado Outward Bound, and he developed the Wilderness and Adventurer program for the Eagle Rock School in Estes Park. In his free time, Michael enjoys guiding whitewater rafting trips, SCUBA diving, ice climbing, traveling, cooking, and reading to his 8-year-old daughter. Michael can be reached at mchristner@CWEE.org.