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GRCC awarded $1 million grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation for diversity

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 8, 2021: Grand Rapids Community College will use a $1 million grant to connect people in vulnerable populations to career opportunities related to the city’s river 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.

“We know the value of a strong, diverse workforce, as the Kellogg Foundation has shown through study after study. 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.

“The work of this grant is crucial to tackling the racial and economic disparities we see for families here in Grand Rapids,” said W.K. Kellogg Foundation Program Officer Tracie Coffman. “Grand Rapids Community College does such important work in our community and we look forward to strengthening our partnership over the next three years.”

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 scheduled for noon to 1 p.m., Jan. 11 and 12. Registration is available here: http://bit.ly/3pNnuc3. 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.

The new grant builds on a program supported by a 2018 grant from the Battle Creek-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation that focused on training residents for careers in public works and healthcare.




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Revised: 01/13/21 08:41:26 -0800.




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