March 8, 2021 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College President Bill Pink has been named to the board of Lakeshore Advantage, an organization fostering economic development in Ottawa and Allegan counties.
The appointment comes as GRCC is consolidating its GRCC Lakeshore Campus into a new location in the Shops at Westshore in Holland Township to make a college education more accessible for Lakeshore residents.
“Our presence in Ottawa County is important to me. I am honored to be a part of the Lakeshore Advantage board, as our college has had a strong relationship with the organization for quite some time. Our new GRCC Lakeshore campus is another prime example of the importance we place on the Lakeshore community," Pink said.
GRCC is renovating the former JCPenney in the mall, a 50,000-square-foot building near the intersection of U.S. 31 and James Street. The campus will include classrooms for both arts and sciences and workforce classes, as well as student resources. The project is planned to be completed by the fall 2021 semester.
Pink is one of three new members of the board, which also added Muskegon Community College President Dale Nesbary and fairlife plant manager Hawk Dobbins.
Lakeshore Advantage is a non-profit local economic development organization started in 2003 by business and community leaders to ensure current and future generations want to live and work in the economy. Lakeshore Advantage assists primary employers, from startups to large world-class corporations, in Allegan and Ottawa counties.
“Hawk, Dale, and Bill bring with them years of experience in leadership and innovation and their addition to our board will continue to bring nuance to the reach of Lakeshore Advantage,” said Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage president. “As we walk forward into 2021, we are confident our board will guide us into further levels of economic development for Ottawa and Allegan counties.”
Lakeshore Advantage in 2020 supported 14 business growth projects, resulting in $152 million in private investment and 652 new jobs.
The organization assisted 395 primary employers in 2020, double its typical support due to the increased need caused by the global pandemic. It supported 63 startup companies and administered two small business grant programs that injected $3.625 million into the local economy.
“Dr. Pink and Dr. Nesbary bring to the board insight and alignment to increasing educational attainment and skilled workforce training in our region. Hawk Dobbins represents the primary employers Lakeshore Advantage serves, leading and innovating at fairlife’s local food manufacturing operations,” said Scott Brooks, Lakeshore Advantage Board Chair.