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GRCC earns $5 million U.S. Labor Department grant to partner with other community colleges, provide skills to grow regional healthcare workforce

Jan. 26, 2021 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids Community College was awarded a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to build capacity at GRCC and four other Michigan community colleges to meet regional healthcare employers' demands for a skilled workforce.

GRCC is one of only 11 community colleges nationwide to receive the grant -- and was one of only four schools receiving the top award of $5 million -- through the department’s Strengthening Community College Training program.

“We are proud to be part of an area-wide effort to help our region recover from the pandemic, and provide residents with new skills that can get them started in a growing field that is especially important in West Michigan,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “We are grateful that the Department of Labor is supporting this work.”

GRCC will work with a coalition of Michigan community colleges, workforce development organizations and healthcare employers to address skills needs and different modes of instructional delivery. West Michigan Works! and GRCC will lead this work in partnership with the Michigan Community College Association, and Alpena, Lansing, Oakland, and Muskegon community colleges.

“Our strong partnerships with West Michigan employers and our community college partners will allow for expansion of apprenticeships in healthcare and allow us to innovate how we deliver healthcare education,” said Julie Parks, GRCC’s executive director for Workforce Training. “Employer partners and meeting the diverse needs of our population will guide our work.”

 “The Strengthening Community Colleges Training grants will play an important role in helping workers to reskill as quickly as possible with industry-recognized credentials and accelerated pathways to degrees,” John Pallasch, assistant secretary for Employment and Training. said in a press release announcing the awards. “These grants are among the range of actions the department is taking to aid American workers and employers as our nation combats the coronavirus pandemic.”

Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college – and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.

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