national grant initiative
RAPIDS, MI, August 6, 2019:
Grand Rapids Community College has been awarded a $140,000
grant to participate in a national effort to expand registered
apprenticeship opportunities, helping students gain a quality
education in addition to on-the-job training in a rewarding
GRCC is one of 80 colleges selected for the Expanding Community
College Apprenticeship Initiative, led by the American
Association of Community Colleges in partnership with the U.S.
Department of Labor. Each college is expected to train 150
apprentices over the next three years.
“Registered apprenticeship programs are life-changing for our
students, helping them gain an education and skills with little
or no tuition debt,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “We
appreciate the grant, allowing us to provide more opportunities
to more West Michigan residents.”
GRCC will use the grant to expand its Manufacturing,
Construction Electrician, and Medical Assistant registered
The Manufacturing registered apprenticeship program offers a
combination of on-the-job training and classroom work in tooling
and manufacturing, plastics, quality science, and welding. GRCC
currently works with 432 companies, with more than 340 students
completing apprenticeship certificates.
The Construction Electrician program has been offered for 21
years. GRCC partners with 120 companies, with 400 students
completing their apprenticeships.
The Medical Assistant program launched in 2016 to address a
critical talent shortage. It was the first accredited Medical
Assistant program and was recognized by the U.S. Department of
Labor as a Promising Practice in 2017.
“Registered Apprenticeship programs are great opportunities for
students, but also for our employer partners,” said Julie
Parks, GRCC’s executive director of Workforce Training. “We
work closely with West Michigan employers to learn which skills
are in great demand. Apprenticeships are an effective way to
build a talented workforce and make our local economy stronger.”
The college will recruit new companies and increase outreach in
area high schools to raise awareness about the opportunities.
“The American Association of Community Colleges is thrilled to
partner with GRCC to help expand registered apprenticeship
opportunities in West Michigan,” said Cheryl Olson,
AACC’s executive director of apprenticeships.
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational
opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years.
Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses,
certification and training programs, and workshops and personal
enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand
Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and
Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.