FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
Sept. 9, 2015 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — President Barack Obama announced today that Grand Rapids Community College is one of 46 partners that will benefit from $175 million in federal grants to create and expand apprenticeship programs for high-demand fields.
GRCC, in a partnership with Macomb Community College, will join industry and labor partners to create the Michigan Apprenticeship Program Plus (MAP+). The GRCC-MCC partnership will receive $3.9 million of the U.S. Department of Labor grant to meet employer demand for high-skilled talent. MAP+ will target eight Michigan counties –Allegan, Barry, Kent, Macomb, Oakland, Ottawa, St. Clair and Wayne – that comprise 51 percent of the state’s population.
“This is an exciting day for Grand Rapids Community College,” said President Dr. Steven C. Ender. “We have provided educational opportunities in West Michigan for 101 years, so we are well-suited to be a collaborative partner to help meet the needs of employers for highly skilled workers. This is a proactive approach, taking into account employer needs, to continue training workers who can hit the ground running.”
GRCC will focus on the need for information technology and manufacturing occupations. The college will work with industry partners such as Spectrum Health, Haworth, the city of Grand Rapids, Perrigo, Randstad Technologies and Autocam Precision Components Group.
“Through this apprenticeship model, students will learn and earn while gaining important industry skills to fill the need for such talent in West Michigan,” said Dr. Bill Pink, vice president and dean for workforce development. “GRCC has long been a partner in West Michigan, helping train talent for in-demand career pathways, and this only strengthens our efforts.”
The apprenticeship efforts will be boosted by GRCC’s new certification as a Cisco Academy, which allows students to become certified in industry-demanded credentials in information technology occupations. Additionally, GRCC will partner with the Kent Career Technical Center on pre-apprentice preparation to expand its career pathway to GRCC.
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.