GRCC receives JPMorgan Chase grant to expand health career opportunities for minorities



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

July 5, 2017 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College will use a $50,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to create more health care career opportunities for minorities.

West Michigan health care employers have struggled to fill positions, and the grant will fund programs that will expand the potential employee pool, said Julie Parks, GRCC's executive director of Workforce Training.

"The goal is to work with industry partners to increase opportunities for minority community members to enter health care careers and advance from entry-level positions to middle-skill or higher-level healthcare jobs," she said.

The grant will fund a 10-day Health Care Scrubs Camp for Grand Rapids Public Schools students. High school juniors and seniors will learn in GRCC simulation labs, work in a decontamination unit at St. Mary's Hospital, participate in a culinary medicine workshop at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education, and take part in a disaster drill. They will also tour area medical facilities, hear from minority leaders in health care fields and work with career coaches/navigators.

GRCC will also conduct community outreach sessions with neighborhood and nonprofit groups to connect unemployed or underemployed adults with information about health care career opportunities. 

West Michigan health care employers and nonprofit organizations working with GRCC include:

  • Mercy Health St. Mary's.
  • Spectrum Health.
  • The Urban League of Greater Grand Rapids.
  • The West Michigan Hispanic Center.
  • The Literacy Center of West Michigan.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.