Tag Archives: Workforce Training

Computer Support Technician students visit Craig’s Cruisers

Students in the Job Training Computer Support Technician program recently toured Craig’s Cruisers. Jason Osech, Craig’s Cruisers director of IT, and IT technician Herb Johnson — both program alumni — provided a behind-the-scenes look at the infrastructure of several games, the support network and the server room.

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ESL/CNC Machining program wins award

Luis Hernandez, wearing safety goggles on top of his head, smiles.
Luis Hernandez

A GRCC program that combines English as a Second Language coursework with technical skills training recently received an award from a state organization.

The Michigan Association of Continuing Education and Training gave its 2017 Special Project Award to GRCC’s ESL/CNC Precision Machining program. GRCC teamed up with the Hispanic Center of West Michigan and the Literacy Center of West Michigan to develop the program, which launched in spring 2016.

Julie Parks, GRCC’s executive director of Workforce Training, said the course directly addresses two concerns: area employers’ need for skilled workers and high unemployment rates for people with only basic proficiency in English.

“In West Michigan, although the unemployment rate is about 3 percent, there are many neighborhoods in our community that have higher unemployment rates or have significant numbers of individuals who are in minimum- or low-wage jobs,” she said.

“We knew that if we could find a way to get individuals from these neighborhoods into GRCC skilled trades programs, we could make a difference.”

Roberto Torres, the Hispanic Center’s executive director, organized a community meeting to discuss training possibilities. Those attending were interested in CNC precision machining skills. Chad Patton, the Literacy Center of West Michigan’s customized workplace English manager, brought expertise in occupational English skill integration to work with the GRCC team, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation provided funding.

Of the 15 people who entered the program in spring 2016, 14 completed it and all received either new jobs or jobs with higher wages.

“Our instructional team from the college and the Literacy Center worked closely with our career coach/navigators and job developers,” said John VanElst, GRCC Pathways to Success program manager. “We learned when to offer the training and what skill sets to focus on. This program helps individuals accelerate learning English while, at the same time, gaining valuable workplace skills.

The ESL/CNC Machining program continues and two other programs have been added: ESL/Certified Nursing Assistant and ESL/Construction.

Luis Hernandez admits he was nervous about signing up for the ESL/CNC Machining program.

“I thought to myself: ‘What have I gotten into?’” he said. “But I really liked the program. The class was nice and small. We all worked easily together, and the instructor was so helpful and supportive.”

“This program changed my life. It opened doors for me and now I am a machine apprentice. I feel like now I have a career, not just a job.”

Parks says the program wouldn’t have been possible without community collaboration: “This was a great opportunity for us to work with some outstanding community partners to bring all the pieces together and, with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we were able to accomplish it!”

GRCC In the News, 8-7-17

Change Ups: Updates planned for GRCC technology center

Aug. 4, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Grand Rapids Community College’s Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center will be updated and expanded, thanks in part to $6,367,250 in state funding that will cover half the cost of the $12,734,500 project. The development will focus on computer and manufacturing programs. Students completing these programs are in high demand, and so it’s important for GRCC to keep its classrooms current with the latest equipment and tools used in these industries, according to Amy Koning, dean of the School of Workforce Development.

Cascade Engineering embraces innovation

Aug. 4, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Sustainability drives innovation at Cascade Engineering, and the plastic injection molding company is constantly driven toward innovation to better serve a wide variety of industries.

… Cascade’s center for innovation is staffed with undergraduates from Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State University in Big Rapids. There also are Ph.D.-level scientists on staff who head the formulation and understanding of the properties of plastics used.

The Public Schools Near Betsy DeVos’ Hometown Are Doing Great

Aug. 7, 2017; NPR

Betsy DeVos was back in western Michigan last week. It was her first public visit to the area where she grew up since being named education secretary. She visited a science-focused summer learning program and Grand Rapids Community College, and met privately with superintendents from across the state.

The Omelette Shoppe serving more than breakfast for Restaurant Week GR

Aug. 4, 2017; FOX 17

Restaurant Week GR is less than a week away, and for the first time a majority of the 70 restaurants participating will be serving a lunch option.

… For every meal sold, each restaurant will donate $1 to the Secchia Institute of Culinary Education Student Scholarship Fund at Grand Rapids Community College.

Nick Truesdell On His Crazy Road To Vikings Training Camp

Aug. 6, 2017; CBS Minnesota

MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) — There are great stories every year in training camp, as football players give it their best to try to earn one of the 53 spots on the roster.

… In 2011 he (Nick Truesdell) enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College, and promptly tore his ACL in the very first game, of what turned out to be Grand Rapids’ final season — they cancelled the football program at the end of the year.

 

GRCC In the News, 8-4-17

Recapping the summer of apprenticeships

Aug. 3, 2017; AACC 21st Century Center (American Association of Community Colleges newsletter)

It’s been the summer of apprenticeships. They’ve been the focus of congressional committee hearings and White House executive orders. Earlier this week, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited Grand Rapids Community College (Michigan) to learn more about apprenticeships and the skilled trades.

Colorful summer dishes served at Gravity Taphouse Grille during Restaurant Week GR

Aug. 3, 2017; FOX 17

Restaurant Week GR is approaching quickly, getting ready to show off the best dishes from 70 restaurants in the Grand Rapids area.

… For every meal sold, each restaurant will donate $1 to the Secchia Institute of Culinary Education Student Scholarship Fund at Grand Rapids Community College.

Ferris Transfer Student Open House college admission on the spot!

Aug. 3, 2017; WOTV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) — Join Ferris State University to learn how you can transform your college credits or associate degree into a bachelor’s degree. Program advisors, financial aid experts and admissions officers will make sure you have the information you need to take the next step. Make sure to bring all of your questions and copies of your transcripts. Qualified students will be admitted to the university on the spot!

… By partnering with Grand Rapids Community College they are able to offer select Ferris degree programs close to where you live and work.

3 candidates seek 2 Ward 1 slots in primary

Aug. 4, 2017; The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph)

SOUTH HAVEN — Three candidates in the city’s Ward 1 will square off in the primary election on Tuesday.

… He (Ahmmad Goodwin) graduated from South Haven High School and has an associate’s degree from Grand Rapids Community College.

Where Second Ward city commission candidates stand on affordable housing

Aug. 3, 2017; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Grand Rapids City Commission is reminded at nearly every meeting by activists and residents of the affordable housing crunch in the city – but not all of the three candidates for a Second Ward seat on the commission put the issue as top priority.

… (Mayor Rosalynn) Bliss and the rest of the city commission have thrown their support to (Joe) Jones – who has drawn a number of establishment endorsements from across the city, including Grand Rapids Public Schools leadership, Grand Rapids Community College officials, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and the Grand Rapids Fire Department union.

Staging a Change: The life of Fred Sebulske, Grand Rapids godfather of theater

Aug. 3, 2017; Revue

Hate letters. State government threats. Mayoral involvement. Armed police in the theater.

… Criticism continued to elevate as the opening night got closer. Hate letters from across the country were sent to cast members. After the first couple of performances, the show had to be moved. Grand Rapids Community College which owns Spectrum Theater was facing threats to lose state funding over the play’s controversy.

GRCC In the News, 8-3-17

Housing advocates get $500K grants for neighborhood projects

Aug. 2, 2017; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — LINC Up and Habitat for Humanity of Kent County are getting $500,000 each for affordable housing projects in the city’s southeast and southwest neighborhoods from NeighborWorks America’s Project Reinvest: Neighborhoods.

LINC Up will use the funding to build five affordable homes in the Madison Square Neighborhood in partnership with Grand Rapids Community College’s MTEC construction program, according to an Aug. 2 announcement of the awards.

e-Headlines

Aug. 2, 2017; Community College Daily

DeVos visits Grand Rapids Community College to promote training

Detroit Free Press

From sampling the slow-cooked brisket at the Peter Secchia Institute for Culinary Education to talking with grade school kids participating in a summer camp that teaches construction skills, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos returned to Michigan this week to continue her promotion of education that goes beyond traditional public schools and universities.

Not your average student: Colleges and nonprofits prep workers for construction trades

RapidGrowthmedia.com

It’s almost impossible to pick what your average student looks like, says Scott Mattson, job training manager at Grand Rapids Community College (Michigan).

What’s In a Name?

Aug. 2, 2017; Women’s Lifestyle magazine

For Abigail Yoo, names have the power to boldly define who we are.

… Yoo left home after high school and began working full time to support herself. A few years down the road, she enrolled at GRCC. Having started a retail business with her husband, she took a number of business classes. Her passion for art eventually motivated her to take courses in art history and technique.

Brewery Vivant Escoffier Farmhouse Wild Ale to be re-released on August 6

Aug. 2, 2017; beerpulse.com

(Grand Rapids, MI) — Brewery Vivant set to re-release the beloved Escoffier beer on Sunday August 6, in conjunction with Restaurant Week Grand Rapids and the official announcement of new Executive Chef, Chris Vander Meer. Escoffier is a mixed culture farmhouse wild ale and the next in the Plein de Vie (full of life) series of wood and wild beers. First brewed in 2012 as a collaboration between Brewery Vivant and New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO) as a straight brettanomyces fermentation, Escoffier was later proclaimed one of the Best Beers in the World by Draft Magazine. This years re-release was cellared for over a year to let the flavors properly develop and presents with a deep orange-red hue, brett fruity-funkiness on the nose and a slightly spicy fruity character on the sip. It clocks in at 11.2% ABV.

… Chef (Chris) Vander Meer has been cooking with Brewery Vivant since 2011 and progressing into the role of Sous Chef and most recently Chef de Cuisine. After earning a degree in culinary arts from Grand Rapids Community College, Vander Meer traveled and gained experience along the Maine coastline. He returned to Grand Rapids honing his craft in kitchens around the city. He brings a wealth of experience, attention to detail, and passion for excellence with him into his new role at the brewery. “We’re happy to have Vander’s leadership in the back of the house.” Says Jason Spaulding, President and Owner of Brewery Vivant, “He understands how to take locally-sourced, quality ingredients and turn them into wonderful dishes.”

What Kitchen 67 is serving up for Restaurant Week GR

Aug. 2, 2017; FOX 17

Restaurant Week GR is approaching quickly, getting ready to show off the best dishes from 70 restaurants in the Grand Rapids area.

… For every meal sold, each restaurant will donate $1 to the Secchia Institute of Culinary Education Student Scholarship Fund at Grand Rapids Community College.

 

 

GRCC In the News, 8-2-17

Betsy DeVos sees Grand Rapids Community College’s impact

Aug. 1, 2017; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday, Aug. 1, how “exciting and encouraging” it was to see how Grand Rapids Community College’s programs are continuing to develop to support students.

Michigan native Betsy DeVos visits Grand Rapids to promote community college training

Aug. 1, 2017; The Detroit Free Press

GRAND RAPIDS — From sampling the slow-cooked brisket at the Peter Secchia Institute for Culinary Education to talking with grade school kids participating in a summer camp that teaches construction skills, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos returned to Michigan this week to continue her promotion of education that goes beyond traditional public schools and universities.

“I think we should be emphasizing the multitude of pathways to higher education, recognizing and acknowledging that we have many different kinds of students, many different personalities,” she said Tuesday after touring several programs offered at Grand Rapids Community College. “I’ve heard from many students who have originally pursued a four-year college or university program only to find out that they didn’t like sitting at a desk job. We need to not only support and encourage those opportunities, but to also make sure students know about the multitude of options.”

DeVos visits Grand Rapids job training programs focused on skilled trades

Aug. 1, 2017; Michigan Radio

Traditional four-year universities aren’t the only path to higher education and good jobs. That was the message today from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

DeVos met with Grand Rapids Community College students and faculty as a part of a nationwide tour to see different approaches to higher education. The visit was focused on apprenticeships and the need for skilled trades workers.

(Similar articles ran in other media outlets.)

Caroline Lowcountry Kitchen Focuses on Authentic Cuisine

Aug. 1, 2017; Grand Rapids Magazine

Chef Tom Pugh ate his way through Charleston, South Carolina the heart of low country cuisine to ensure the authenticity of his newest venture.

… Pugh attended Grand Rapids Community College’s culinary school and has a long history of working with seafood. He initially worked the seafood counter for a D&W grocery store and spent 10 years at Bonefish Grill in Grand Rapids.

Love craft beer? See what Atwater Brewery is cooking up for Restaurant Week GR

Aug. 1, 2017; FOX 17

Restaurant Week GR is just a little over a week away, with 70 restaurants ready to make countless dishes to give people a taste of Grand Rapids.

… For every meal sold, each restaurant will donate $1 to the Secchia Institute of Culinary Education Student Scholarship Fund at Grand Rapids Community College.