GRCC hosts Manufacturing Career Day on Nov. 7



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


Nov. 1, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — More than 40 manufacturing employers with open positions will be at Grand Rapids Community College’s Manufacturing Career Day from 1-5 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St. NE.

During GRCC’s Manufacturing Career Day, you can meet with these prospective employers and talk to faculty advisers about where a certificate or degree in tooling and manufacturing, plastics, quality science, and welding can take you.

Manufacturing employers in West Michigan are looking for highly skilled people to fill jobs right now, said John Doneth, an associate professor in GRCC’s manufacturing department. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers predicts a shortfall of up to 3 million skilled manufacturing jobs by 2015, and a Boston Consulting Group study states that high-skilled manufacturing employees will be key to the 21st-century U.S. economy.

“Today’s manufacturing environment is high-tech, clean and growing,” Doneth said. “Most employers say they have a lack of job candidates with the right technical skills, and this skills gap has been growing as the area’s economy comes back from the downturn.”

GRCC alumnus Jim Gay knows first-hand the benefits of earning his welding credentials. From his first course in welding at Ingham Intermediate Vocational School, Gay knew his career would revolve around welding. GRCC helped him further that goal. He earned an associate degree in arts and an associate degree in applied arts, sciences and welding technology at the college.

He is now a weld technician at Ridgeview Industries and said encouragement from his GRCC instructors to continue learning prompted him to work toward earning his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Ferris State University.

“GRCC has helped me by giving me an opportunity to retool my skills,” he said. "The instructors in the welding department are truly great people — they are not only teaching a student how to weld, but how to be successful in your job and build a career.

“They give men and women, young and old, an opportunity to grow.”

Sarah Ross already has her welding technology degree from GRCC and will receive an associate degree in tooling and manufacturing this spring. She is working at Rapid-Line in welding and machining while attending GRCC.

“The manufacturing teachers are absolutely awesome,” she said. “They have taught me so much that has helped me at my job, making me a better and well-rounded student.”

Ross’ German language classes at GRCC also earned her a unique opportunity: She was awarded a Work Immersion Study Program Scholarship from the nonprofit Baden-Württemberg Stiftung and spent part of summer 2013 working at a manufacturing company in Germany.

“I love hands-on type jobs, and it’s great to be in a skilled trade,” she said.

Companies planning to attend the third annual career day include Autocam, DeWys Manufacturing, Herman Miller, and Perrigo. For a complete list, click here.

Everyone is welcome to attend; bring your resume and dress for an interview. Career day attendees can also register to win a $500 scholarship for tuition at GRCC. Those in need of special accommodation should contact GRCC’s Disability Support Services at (616) 234-4140.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.