Tag Archives: Job Training

Photos from Job Training graduation

Congratulations to the 95 students who graduated from Job Training programs on Tuesday.

They’ve completed more than 600 hours of training to receive certificates in the Automotive Technician, Computer Support Technician, Construction Electrical, Introduction to Construction, Machinist/CNC Technician; Residential Construction and Welding/Fabrication Technician programs.

The graduates are:

  • Tiffanie Anderson.
  • Matthew Barney.
  • Sareno Baw Ei.
  • Robert Bell.
  • Alexander Berry.
  • Drake Bishop.
  • Charles Bolthouse.
  • Jonathan Bowman.
  • Adam Breadhoff.
  • John Cantu.
  • Randy Cardinal.
  • Gary Carlson.
  • Jeramy Carlson.
  • Ian Chappell.
  • Korden Cherven.
  • Nicholas Comdure.
  • Robert Cottingham.
  • Caleb Dassinger.
  • Jordan Dassinger.
  • Noah Dauber.
  • Travis Denboer.
  • Andrew Dittener.
  • Victor Duran.
  • Jabrielle Evans.
  • Alonzo Frye.
  • Shomari Gaunichaux.
  • Makyre Gilbert.
  • Nathaniel Gomez.
  • Hamilton Graham.
  • Dylan Haggard.
  • Mark Hamilton.
  • Trevor Hansen.
  • Jacob Haverkamp.
  • Mason Hayoz.
  • Carter Hess.
  • Mitchell Hesselink.
  • James Holland.
  • Nathan Hunnicutt.
  • Nicole Hunter.
  • Jean Pierre Imani.
  • Jakob Jensen.
  • Anthony Jones.
  • Zackery Kutchins.
  • Edmund Lane.
  • Thinh Le.
  • Quavon Lee.
  • Brandon Lidgard.
  • Quentin McMasters.
  • Nicholas Meyer.
  • Macoy Mitchell.
  • Kevin Moody.
  • Roma Morales-Sanchez.
  • Devon Morgan.
  • Saleh Mugaza.
  • Gabrielle Mummert.
  • Edmund Nash.
  • Robert O’Neal.
  • Muhamed Osmanovic.
  • Edgar Pablo-Mendoza.
  • Blake Pavlak.
  • Daniel Phillips.
  • Nathan Piechocki.
  • Brendan Pierce.
  • Michael Porter.
  • Daniel Quakenbush.
  • Luis Quilantan-Luna.
  • Jason Rector.
  • Marissa Rodriguez.
  • Noe Rosario.
  • Ian Ruster.
  • Gabriel Schepers.
  • Jonathan Selden.
  • Jordan Snyder.
  • James Solano.
  • Frank Stapleton Jr.
  • Andrew Stemmler.
  • Miles Stevens.
  • Jerry Strader.
  • Perry Stradtner.
  • Thomas Stuck.
  • David Symko.
  • Cole Unseld.
  • Eric Vander-Stel.
  • Sam Vanderwall.
  • Matthew VanHouten.
  • Jonathan Velaquez.
  • Kha Vu.
  • Garrett Weaver.
  • Matthew Wend.
  • Spencer Wert.
  • Reginald White.
  • Jackson Wiest.
  • Justin Wright.

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Public Works Academy celebrates first group of graduates

Representatives from area municipalities and the American Public Works Association celebrated the graduation today of the first group of 10 students from GRCC’s Public Works Academy.

Amy Koning, dean of the School of Workforce Development, said GRCC created the seven-week academy with the help of local municipalities to give people in-demand skills. The 10 students in the pilot program have already interviewed for open positions and internships.

Rich Berning, a member of the APWA’s board of directors, addressed the graduates, saying that public works employees keep residents safe and improve their quality of life. He told the students that they will have opportunities to continually add new skills during their rewarding careers.

“Public works is out in front and behind the scenes, making sure that the streets are paved, maintained, swept and plowed — whatever the situation might be,” Berning said. “When one gets involved in public works agencies, there are many, many opportunities and many paths to promotions and self-fulfillment.”

Kris Nickens, 21, of Grand Rapids, enrolled in the academy after learning about the different skills he could learn. He said he’s sure his graduation is a first step to a career he’ll enjoy.

The academy training covered positions such as building specialist, engineering technician, equipment operator, fleet services technician, plant assistant, safety specialist, truck driver, and maintenance worker for utilities, streets, grounds and buildings. Because of a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, academy participants paid only $25.

James Hurt, Grand Rapids’ public services director, said agencies like his have been challenged to find people with the right skills to fill vacancies.

“It was not uncommon for us to have 150 people apply for our positions 10 years ago, and some positions now, we’re sometimes lucky to get 30 people to apply,” he said. “We needed to do something. How do we get people engaged in public works?”

Hurt said there are only a handful of public works academies in the country.

In addition to Grand Rapids, GRCC’s community partners on this program included public works departments for Kentwood and Grand Haven, in addition to the road commissions from Kent, Muskegon and Van Buren counties, the Michigan Department of Transportation, Prein&Newhof and Rowe Professional Services.

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GRCC In the News, 5-21-18

Change Ups: AppleTree & Gilden Woods relocates HQ to larger facility

May 18, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal


Grand Rapids Community College was designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. The program’s goal is to promote higher education and research in cyberdefense and train professionals with such expertise.

Inside Track: Educator connects theory and practice

May 18, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Born and raised in a small village in Nigeria, Nkechy Ekere Ezeh was shocked when she came to the U.S. as an adult and heard the messages bombarding low-income minority parents.

… Ezeh’s pathway into the education profession started with a practical motivation. She was pregnant and needed to learn how to raise a child, as her family was far away, and she didn’t know anyone here. She enrolled in a child development class at Grand Rapids Community College and never left the education field afterward.

Engineering student who is grandmother will study in Switzerland

May 18, 2018; GVSU press release

Starting another degree three decades after being in a college classroom would be difficult for anyone.

… She (Andrea Schwallier) took CNC machine courses at the Geek Group, a nonprofit organization in Grand Rapids, and finished a welding class at Grand Rapids Community College. “It seemed if I were going to do this, I should go full time,” she said.

GRCC In the News, 5-15-18

GRCC President Bill Pink elected to Higher Learning Commission

May 14, 2018; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College President Bill Pink is one of four newly elected trustees to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) that accredits colleges and universities in 19 states.

Colleges swoop in on drone training

May 11, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Two area colleges are offering public classes on how to operate drones.

… Grand Rapids Community College and Compass College of Cinematic Arts are offering these classes to help students meet the current and future demand of workers with drone-operating skills.

Change Ups: Olivarez receives emeritus award

May 11, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal

… Juan R. Olivarez received Grand Rapids Community College’s President Emeritus Award as part of the college’s recent commencement. Olivarez became the first Hispanic president of a Michigan college or university when he was tapped to lead GRCC in 1999. The son of migrant laborers, he has degrees from Aquinas College, Wayne State University and Michigan State University. He was named GRCC’s eighth president and is known for his efforts to develop community partnerships and boost minority enrollment, so all West Michigan students have opportunities for a strong education.

Grand Rapids CC installs laptop vending machines

May 11, 2018; CR80News (student ID card industry publication)

With the swipe of a student ID card, Grand Rapids Community College is offering free laptop rentals to students. The service is being offered via vending machine, giving students an alternative to accessing the technology needed to support their academic work.

News at 6:30 p.m.

May 12, 2018; WZZM

More than 17,000 people from all over the world flooded the streets of Grand Rapids for the 41st annual Fifth Third Riverbank Run. …. We spoke to a few of the runners from Grand Rapids Community College who took part in the race.

(Cross country coach Matt Sicilia and some team members were interviewed.)

Just Enjoy to provide at-home personal chef services

May 14, 2018; The Holland Sentinel

For Justen Bowden, his work life journey is one that has been filled with different stops along the way.

… He was running a business centered around baked goods such as cookies and brownies and recently graduated from Secchia Institute for Culinary Education with a certificate as a personal chef. Now Bowden has started a personal chef business called Just Enjoy.

Gov. Rick Snyder and TED Director Roger Curtis recognize Marshall Plan for Talent champions

May 11, 2018;  michigan.gov (press release)

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder and Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan Director Roger Curtis Tuesday met with champions in the education and business sectors to discuss the Marshall Plan for Talent, answer questions and lay the groundwork for continued economic success for the state.

… Numerous Michigan-based companies and education institutions are already supporting the Marshall Plan for Talent through existing and successful programs such as competency-based education models, hiring practices and existing partnerships between business and education. Champions include:

… Grand Rapids Community College

More than a dream

May 12, 2018; The Daily News (Greenville)

Crowded among strangers on a small boat, with the only friends and family he had ever known left far behind in Latin America, Jose Chavez-Estaban made a risky attempt to start a new life in the United States.

… Going forward, Chavez-Estaban said he hopes to eventually enroll in Grand Rapids Community College and place a focus on criminal justice with a goal to become a police officer.

West Michigan Food Waste Summit

May 12, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and partners will host the West Michigan Food Waste Summit on Monday, May 21 at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College, the capstone event of the Western Michigan Food Recovery Council pilot project.

Earn your Industrial Sewing Certificate

Become a certified sewing machine operator — the next session begins May 22!

From cottage industries to third-generation furniture producers, sewers are in high demand. GRCC’s Workforce Training course will prepare you to obtain full-time employment in the sewn-product industry. Average starting wages are $12  per hour, with full-time benefits. Part-time positions often pay up to $20 per hour.

Scholarships are available! Classes are held twice weekly at Steepletown at Blue Marble Threads, 671 Davis Ave. NW, No. 4. You can register online.