Grand Rapids Community College has been awarded a $1 million grant from the K.W. Kellogg Foundation to fund public works and healthcare training.
The money from the grant will fund a total of three GRCC programs that will help students who are struggling to attend college, help students obtain the skills needed to enter the ever-changing workforce and connect students to entry-level healthcare jobs.
One portion of the grant will fund GRCC’s new Foundations to the Future project. This project will target Grand Rapids citizens who are struggling with low income, are single parents, or are unemployed or struggling with employment. The project team will also help those who are working but need more education to apply for higher positions in the workforce.
The Foundations to the Future project will also help Grand Rapids residents who are facing challenges with gender, racial barriers, as well as those who have criminal backgrounds. Participants in this program will be given skill assessments and receive training so they’ll be prepared to enter the workforce.
“This is great news for the GRCC family and the West Michigan community,” stated GRCC President Bill Pink in the press release on Tuesday. “The Kellogg Foundation has been a valued partner of our college for many years, and these funds allow us to serve more individuals by providing them with workforce skills, and our local employer with skilled talent.”
This grant also gives GRCC the opportunity to work with the City of Grand Rapids and Kent County to create a “Public Works Academy.” This will give residents skills that are in demand for emerging municipal projects. The project will target careers in planning, parks and recreation, water waste treatment, green infrastructure, traffic control, road work and many more.
Another portion of the grant will be used to strengthen GRCC’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program that combines workforce training and language skills to help residents whose native language is not English.
The third portion of this grant will be used to expand GRCC’s efforts to connect its students to entry-level jobs in health care. This is very important because many of GRCC students are studying to enter the medical workforce.
GRCC is also planning to expand its partnerships with other community organizations including the Urban League, the Hispanic Center of West Michigan and the West Michigan Health Employers Career Council along with many more.
No sources were available to do interviews with The Collegiate at this time.