Press release: Saugatuck High School students explore career options at GRCC

Contact: Kathy Mullins

Executive Deputy to the President and Board Liaison

(616) 234.3908

February 4, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. -- Saugatuck High School’s 10th-grade class will visit Grand Rapids Community College on February 5 as part of a pilot career exploration program. Saugatuck High school is providing the Workkeys Talent and Fit Assessment and lean manufacturing simulation with a grant from the Ottawa Intermediate School District’s School to Work Program.

GRCC began working with the 74 sophomores this year as part of a program designed to help identify their interests and abilities, and line them up with their college and career plans. Rachael Jungblut, a senior program manager at GRCC’s Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC, visited the school earlier this month to help the students go over the results of the Workkeys Talent and Fit Assessment surveys they recently took. These surveys will help the students link what they like to do and what is important to them with careers.

Based on the results of the surveys GRCC has designed a day of tours and activities on February 5. The students will split into two groups and will divide their time between the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St NE, and M-TEC, 622 Godfrey Ave. SW. They will get to explore different programs offered in areas in which they’ve indicated an interest - including health, manufacturing, engineering and the arts.

At the M-TEC the students will participate in a group lean manufacturing simulation. The Goal: Making airplanes out of office supplies. Making them as efficiently as possible, by analyzing everything from the plane’s design to how it is manufactured and assembled.

The program will continue after the GRCC visit, with the students later touring area companies to get an even closer look at some of their career options. “It’s a good start-to-finish process for students,” said Rachael Jungblut. “They will really have a sense of where their skills can take them.”

While this is the first time GRCC has worked with Saugatuck High School and Workkeys Talent and Fit Assessment, officials are already considering ways to expand it to other schools.

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.