Students can explore careers through hands-on summer experiences

Students in grades six through nine can explore careers through hands-on activities and tours during a series of summer camps offered by the Grand Rapids Community College Workforce Training team.

Students can learn about careers in public works, construction, manufacturing, woodworking, and drone technology in three-day sessions, some starting as early as June 21.

“These camps are a perfect opportunity for students to explore careers, gain hands-on experience, and meet people who are experts in their fields,” says John Van Elst, interim executive director of Workforce Training. “They also are seeing some of the real-world applications for math, science, and other subjects they are learning.” 

Camp schedule

Public works camp, which runs July 26-28 and Aug. 9-11, is open to students in grades six through nine and costs $25. Other sessions are for students in grades seven through nine. 

The construction camp runs from June 21-23 and costs $99. The woodworking camp is scheduled for June 28-30 and costs $99. The manufacturing camp is planned for July 12-14 and July 19-21, and costs $99. The drone technology camp runs June 21-23 in Grand Rapids and July 19-21 at the GRCC Lakeshore Campus and costs $75. 

The public works camp includes following water from the Lakeshore to a freshwater plant and a wastewater plant.

"Behind every drop of water you use, there is a huge team of professionals dedicated to ensuring your water is safe and reliable,” says Hillary Caron, a chemist for Lake Michigan Filtration Plant.

“The public works camp will be an exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience showing each step of the water and wastewater treatment processes and the available careers in an extremely rewarding industry."

All camps have a limited capacity and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Details are available at


Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.