Grand Rapids Community College and workforce development organization West Michigan Works! have launched a program aiming to make big strides in preparing participants for the future of manufacturing.
In early 2021, GRCC announced that it was a recipient of a $9.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to create the One Workforce for West Michigan Manufacturing Project. The school was just one of 19 organizations in the country to receive grant funds.
The program — which is being steered by a coalition of employers, workforce development organizations, educators and community groups — targets members of underserved populations and provides them with modern manufacturing skills training.
“About 80 to 90 percent of the training is hands-on,” said Dennis Triggs, project manager for One Workforce. “So, when they get out into the workforce, it’s not like an employer is hiring someone that just studied a lot of theory. They’re getting someone who has put practical time in, with hands-on training. They walk into a job with about six months of on-the-job training already.”