Innovative Local Partnership Urgently Seeks High School Students for Jobs

Through the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), participating manufacturers will pay to educate, train and otherwise prepare high school graduates for careers in advanced manufacturing in West Michigan.

“These are manufacturing jobs, but if you are thinking of the dark, crowded factory floor full of hissing presses, you’re way behind,” says Mike Kiss, GRCC’s Applied Technology Department Head. “These are clean, bright organized spaces with computers, and other equipment. Workers need to be able to design on computer, make math calculations and be able to look at the whole project, not one specific piece.”

Manufacturers participating in this partnership include:

  • Anderson Global
  • Autocom
  • Gentex Corporation
  • Paragon D&E
  • Tooling Systems Group

AMP students will get a job right out of high school, and selected students will also receive employer-paid tuition to attend GRCC to earn an Associate degree. That offer could be extended two more years if a higher degree is needed. GRCC’s Associate degree is fully transferable to FSU’s Manufacturing Engineering Technology-Bachelor of Science Degree.

AMP students are allowed to earn while they learn by working part-time and attending college part-time – getting their hourly wage while not having to pay tuition or take on loans.

“We’re looking now for new people who already take pride in their skills - and who will benefit even more from the college education we will make available to them,” said Dave Muir, President of Paragon D&E, one of the AMP manufacturers.

Eligible students must have a minimum ACT scores in Math, Reading and English of 18, Level 4 Work Keys, and an aptitude for calculations, creating by computer and problem-solving.

Interested students and parents can attend an informational Open House on Thursday, April 26, from 3:30-8:00PM at Paragon Die, 5225 33rd St. SE in Grand Rapids. 

More information is available, including an informational video, by visiting

About Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 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 additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.

About Talent 2025
TALENT 2025 is a coalition of more than 50 CEO's from major employers in the nine-county West Michigan region who are focused on what is needed today to ensure that West Michigan can successfully meet the workforce needs in 2025. The group conducts research to identify gaps and leading practices in the talent development process, and it convenes the appropriate stakeholders to design and implement plans to improve that process. TALENT 2025 is working with 13 university, college and community college presidents, K-12 educators, government officials, foundations and other stakeholders to ensure that everything possible is being done to create a globally competitive workforce by 2025.