Sept. 23, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College has teamed up with Meijer Inc. on a Retail Management Certificate program, a pilot program that meets the needs of local employers while giving residents skills to advance in their careers.
The initial cohort is comprised of 18 employees who have been with Meijer for at least a year. All the classes are in a seven-week format, allowing the employees to complete the certificate in a year.
“GRCC is excited to partner with Meijer to provide this professional development program, which culminates in a valuable credential that is highly valued by this industry,” said Amy Mansfield, dean of the School of Workforce Development.
The program is the result of several years of planning with the company, and would give employees skills to advance within Meijer, or in other large retailers in the nation.
“Our team members are vital to our company’s success, and we remain committed to investing in their professional development,” said Todd Weer, senior vice president of stores for Meijer. “This newest partnership with Grand Rapids Community College provides a great opportunity to help our team members achieve their educational goals and advance their careers.”
The first two classes, organizational behavior and accounting, are being taught by GRCC faculty at Meijer headquarters in Walker. The employees will take the rest -- which include courses in business communication and business management -- online. Meijer will cover the employees’ tuition, fees and books for the first course and also offers an educational reimbursement program to defray the cost of the full program.
Employees who complete the certificate, which is recognized by the Western Association of Food Chains and endorsed by the Food Marketing Institute, will be encouraged to continue their studies for an Associate of Business.
GRCC has partnered with Meijer on other projects. The Meijer Center for Business, located in Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, provides computer labs, small and large group collaboration spaces, a board room, a business center for faculty use, and student study areas. Meijer employees have also served as guest lecturers, adjunct faculty, and advisory committee members.
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.