GRCC trustees approve $500,000 in job training

Sept. 17, 2018 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Two West Michigan companies will be able to add more than 100 jobs after Grand Rapids Community College trustees approved more than $500,000 in training through the Michigan New Jobs Training Program.

The board of trustees approved agreements tonight with food manufacturer Agropur Inc. and JR Automation. Through the Michigan New Jobs Training Program, community colleges recoup the costs of providing the training through a diversion of withholding taxes generated by the new employees' wages.

"This program highlights a unique role that community colleges play in helping the region and its people become more successful," board Chairman David Koetje said. "We support West Michigan in many ways, and we're proud to be a resource our community looks to for specialized training."

GRCC has agreed to provide $400,000 in training for 66 jobs that Agropur plans to add at its Wyoming facility. The college will also provide $100,000 in training for 50 positions that will be created as part of an expansion at JR Automation in Holland.

"We want to always focus on being relevant and responsive to our community, and the Michigan New Jobs Training Program is one example of the important role we play in lifelong learning," GRCC President Bill Pink said. "We work directly with employers, giving people skills linked directly to new jobs being created."

Designed as an economic development tool, the Michigan New Jobs Training Program helps employers expanding in or locating to the state to create full-time jobs. Employers partner directly with local community colleges.

GRCC has provided almost $29 million in training for 5,244 new jobs through this program since 2009.

"These programs are an investment in our community, making West Michigan stronger," said Julie Parks, GRCC's executive director of Workforce Training. "We're helping to close Michigan's talent gap, helping employers build a workforce with in-demand skills, and offering people opportunities for great jobs."

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.

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