Partnership boosts GRCC Lakeshore Campus manufacturing classes

Grand Rapids Community College is gaining new equipment to help students learn in-demand career skills through a partnership with Lakeshore Advantage and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The GRCC Lakeshore Campus is one of three programs in Ottawa and Allegan counties to be supported through the Michigan Workforce Training Center Equipment grant program, intended to improve or expand training programs for health care and automation.

“As Lakeshore companies continue to grow and expand, the need for a trained workforce becomes more pressing,” Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens says. “The Michigan Workforce TEC grant program helps ensure our training providers have the appropriate equipment to help workers and students achieve the credentials and skills needed to be successful in today’s marketplace.”

The GRCC Lakeshore Campus in Holland Township was awarded $49,875, which will be used to purchase equipment for advanced automation training. These funds also will provide opportunities for Smart Automation Certificate Alliance and FANUC certifications.

Keeping workforce skills up to date

"GRCC values our collaboration with Lakeshore Advantage, Holland-area employers and the MEDC to give local residents the ability to gain skills they need for today and for the future,” said Julie Parks, Grand Rapids Community College’s dean of workforce training. “This additional equipment is another piece that allows GRCC to make sure the workforce is ready to produce products that make Michigan a manufacturing leader.”

This money is part of a $3 million statewide funding program for the Michigan Workforce TEC Grant Program to support workforce training providers. 

Thompson M-TEC/Ottawa Area Intermediate School District SD was also awarded $49,875, which will be used to purchase equipment to train on a FANUC/Miller ARC Robotic Weld Cell and offer FANUC-specific certifications in robotic welding processes. This equipment will be housed at the M-TEC center in West Olive.

Allegan County Area Technical Education Center, which offers 19 technical training programs as well as vocational training opportunities for students with special needs, was awarded $30,400 by Lakeshore Advantage for equipment to train students working to earn Patient Care Tech and EKG certifications.

Lakeshore Advantage is a nonprofit economic development organization started in 2003 by business and community leaders to ensure current and future generations want to live and work in the region’s vibrant economy. Lakeshore Advantage assists primary employers, from startups to world-class corporations, in West Michigan’s Allegan and Ottawa counties.

More information on the Michigan Workforce Training Center Equipment Grant Program can be found here.  

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Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.