With 2019 about to slip into the rearview mirror, it’s time to reflect on the people and events that shaped West Michigan during the past 12 months.
The Grand Rapids Business Journal Newsmaker of the Year event is Jan. 29 at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Tickets for the event, which begins at 7:30 a.m., are available online.
This year, the Journal’s reporters and editors met to discuss almost 250 potential nominees for the honor, finally agreeing on three finalists in each of the following 16 categories: Arts & Entertainment, Beverages, Economic Development, Education, Finance, Food, Health Care, Law, Manufacturing, Nonprofits/Philanthropy, Real Estate/Construction, Retail, Sports, Startups, Sustainability and Technology.
A winner from the three finalists in each of the 16 categories will be revealed at the event, followed by the announcement of the overall 2019 Newsmaker of the Year Award.
The people who made news in 2019 make for an impressive list of leading figures in the business community.
Last year, Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Spectrum Health, was honored for a bevy of acquisitions and new construction that grew the health system to more than 40 locations, 450 providers and 31,000 employees. Leading those efforts earned her the overall Newsmaker of the Year Award.
Most of this year’s nominees are familiar to West Michigan residents, especially those who read the Business Journal on a consistent basis, because they are the people who shaped local news in 2019…
High-tech equipment from Autocam Medical installed in WMU AMP Lab
Autocam Medical, a contract manufacturer of precision surgical and medical components and devices, had three new pieces of their manufacturing equipment installed in Western Michigan University’s (WMU) regional state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Laboratory (AMP Lab).
The equipment is just one example of Autocam Medical’s commitment to creating a skilled workforce. They are also a key partner in the AMP program, which is focused on encouraging and facilitating the development of students pursuing careers in engineering and manufacturing. In addition, they participate in a CNC Machinist Apprentice program in which they send workers to college to receive training in computer numerical control (CNC) machining. Students that complete 728 hours of classroom instruction while maintaining a full work schedule receive their journeyman’s card in CNC Machining and 27 college credits towards an associate degree.
Medtech contract manufacturer Autocam Medical (Kentwood, Mich.) said that three new pieces of its manufacturing equipment have been installed in Western Michigan University’s (WMU) regional state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing partnership laboratory (AMP Lab).
The company is a partner in the AMP program, which focuses on encouraging and aiding the development of students pursuing careers in engineering and manufacturing. As part of an apprenticeship program, Autocam Medical sends workers to the university in Grand Rapids, Mich. to study computer numerical control (CNC) machining. Students who complete 728 hours of classroom instruction while maintaining a full work schedule receive their journeyman’s card in CNC machining and 27 college credits toward an associate’s degree.
Autocam Medical announced the installation of three new pieces of their manufacturing equipment in Western Michigan University’s regional Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Laboratory (AMP Lab). The lab has received a CNC 5 Axis Mill, a Swiss lathe and a 3D metal printer to help engineering students and current engineers and designers experience the high-tech devices needed to develop and test new products and prototypes.
In addition to hands-on use of equipment, students can also gain input from industry experts at the lab.
The AMP Lab is located on the bottom two floors of WMU’s building in Grand Rapids, with classrooms above and the equipment on the lower level. This allows passersby to see the machines from the sidewalk.
“This type of visibility will allow people to see manufacturing in process,” said John Kennedy IV, General Manager at Autocam Medical. “It will also help raise the profile of advanced manufacturing in downtown Grand Rapids and draw more people into skilled trade careers. Manufacturers are struggling to fill these positions with well-trained workers who can become productive immediately. The AMP Lab helps close that gap.”
Autocam Medical provides screws, plates, cutting tools, implants, instruments and handpieces to orthopedic and medical device companies. The company is a partner in the AMP program that seeks to build a skilled workforce by developing students to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing. Autocam Medical also participates in a CNC Machinist Apprentice program. Students who complete 728 hours of classroom instruction while maintaining a full work schedule receive their journeyman’s card in CNC Machining and 27 college credits towards an associate’s degree.
Downtown Grand Rapids pedestrians soon will be given a window into advanced machining and robotics projects at a $3 million lab that opened last year.
Movers brought in several large pieces of equipment on Sept. 3 and 4 to the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Lab at Western Michigan University, or AMP Lab @ WMU. The machines are so large the glass had to be removed from the lab’s street-level windows to lower them down to an open area that will serve as a makerspace for medical devices and possibly other types of products, with the equipment being run by expert technicians.
Western Michigan University’s regional state-of the-art manufacturing laboratory is receiving three new pieces of Autocam Medical manufacturing equipment this month to help build its prototyping capabilities.
The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Laboratory, or the AMP Lab @ WMU, in downtown Grand Rapids, received its first machine, a CNC 5 Axis Mill that enables the machining of complex parts using a wide range of modular tools, on Sept. 3.
The CNC 5 weighs more than 20,000 pounds and required removal of one of the windows facing Cherry Street and two cranes in order to move into the building and to its final spot in the Showcase/Prototyping Lab.
Autocam Medical, a global contract manufacturer of precision surgical and medical components and devices, announced today that 13 adult students have graduated from their CNC Machinist Apprentice Program.
Rutherford Works, in partnership with the American Job Center, is hosting a county-wide job fair featuring high-growth, high-wage jobs at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro on August 29, 2019. Registration is open for employers and booth space is free! They are able to accommodate 120 employers and currently have over 75 employers registered aiming to fill around 2500 open positions within our county. Current event sponsors include Ingram Content Group, Embassy Suites, National Healthcare Corporation, Autocam Medical and TEAM Electric. For additional employer registration details, visit http://bit.ly/rucohiringexp.
If you want something done right, do it yourself — such is the philosophy on display at Autocam Medical when it comes to creating a skilled workforce.
The Kentwood-based contract manufacturer of precision surgical and medical components and devices has for the past several years participated in a CNC Machinist Apprentice Program in which it sends entry-level or other workers to Grand Rapids Community College to receive classroom instruction and training in computer numerical control (CNC) machining.
The year-round program covers the education required by the state of Michigan to receive a certified journeyman card in CNC machining. Students must complete 728 hours of classroom instruction in 91 weeks. They maintain a full work schedule while training over a two-year period. Upon completion of the program, they earn 27 college credits, which puts them on the path to receive an associate degree.