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GRCC receives $1M grant to help connect people with public works, infrastructure job opportunities

The grant will focus on construction skills and other opportunities related to water, water infrastructure, recreation, and the city's river restoration projects.
Credit: Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids Community College.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College was recently awarded a $1 million grant to connect people in vulnerable populations to career opportunities within the city's restoration projects, infrastructure, and public works. 

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded GRCC’s Workforce Training Department a three-year, $1,050,344 grant for the college’s Equitable Empowerment Through Career Pathways program. The college will work with community partners, employers and local governments to provide people with skills leading to rewarding jobs or starting businesses.

"This grant will help GRCC and our partners tear down barriers to success and provide life-changing opportunities for people to prepare for in-demand careers," GRCC President Bill Pink said in a press release. "It makes good sense to use this funding to support such efforts. It will help our communities that are experiencing disparities, as well as our companies who continue to experience talent deficits."

The grant will focus on construction skills and other opportunities related to water, water infrastructure, recreation, and the variety of projects expected to arise from the efforts to restore portions of the Grand River.

The grant also will support the college’s Public Works Academy, which will offer skills in electrical, wastewater treatment, National Green Infrastructure certification, and other areas determined by municipalities.

Partners include public works departments for the cities of Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Grand Haven; road commissions for Kent and Van Buren counties, the Michigan Department of Transportation and contractors Prein & Newhof and Rowe Professional Services.

Virtual information sessions for the Public Works Academy are planned for noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 11 and 12. Registration is available here. Those who successfully complete the program are guaranteed at least two job interviews.

People interested in other aspects of the program can contact the team at the Leslie M. Tassell M-TEC at 616-234-3800 or workforcetraining@grcc.edu.

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