GRCC’s medical assistant graduates ready to meet industry demand



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications

(616) 234-4213

July 12, 2016 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A class of 24 Grand Rapids Community College students is ready to answer the growing demand for medical assistants.

GRCC held graduation for its most recent class of medical assistants on Monday at the Tassell M-TEC facility. For one of those students, the event means a new role in her current field.

Spectrum Health hired Amanda Hindsley for a supply chain job when she graduated from high school in 2014.

"I worked with a lot of different departments in the health field," she said. "Seeing what they did pushed me to go into the medical assistant program."

Hindsley had a friend who had gone through GRCC's Medical Assistant Program, so she attended an information session to find out more: "It honestly made me feel that it was the right field for me. I got more and more excited about starting the program."

Linda Witte, the program's director, said 22 of the graduates have already taken and passed the Registered Medical Assistant national certification exam -- and most of them have job offers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for medical assistants will grow by 23 percent through 2024 -- much faster than the average for all occupations. Witte sees that demand reflected in the Grand Rapids area: 96 percent of the students who have completed GRCC's program have been successfully placed in jobs -- and the past five classes have had a 100 percent placement rate. This year, GRCC is launching the state’s first registered apprenticeship program for medical assistants.

"We designed our Medical Assistant Program with our area employers to ensure that we are preparing our graduates with the skills needed in our local workforce," she said. "Employers continue to be actively involved in serving on our advisory committee, and in hosting job shadow opportunities and practicum placements."

Hindsley is eager to meet that demand.

"I really wanted to work with patients as soon as I could," she said. "I want to be a part of the front source of helping people and helping my community."

You can learn more about the Medical Assistant and other health-care programs GRCC offers during information sessions at noon today and 4 p.m. Aug. 10 at Tassell M-TEC, 622 Godfrey Ave. SW.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 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.