West Michigan workforce training programs awarded state grants

West Michigan workforce training programs awarded state grants

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Three training programs in Ottawa and Allegan counties were awarded dollars from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s workforce training center equipment grant program.

The grant program, administered locally by Lakeshore Advantage, awarded $49,875 to Grand Rapids Community College’s Lakeshore Campus in Holland, as well as $30,400 to the Allegan County Area Technical Education Center, and $49,875 to Ottawa Area ISD’s Thompson M-TEC center.

“Our training providers are educational catalysts for the ongoing development of our local workforce,” Jennifer Owens, the president of Lakeshore Advantage, said in a press release.

“As lakeshore companies continue to grow and expand, the need for a trained workforce becomes more pressing. The Michigan Workforce TEC Grant Program helps ensure our training providers have the appropriate equipment to help workers and students achieve the credentials and skills needed to be successful in today’s marketplace.”

At Allegan County Area Technical Education Center, which has 19 technical training programs, the funds will cover the cost of training equipment for students working to EKG and patient care tech certifications.

“The tremendous gift of money will allow our students to enhance their learning to obtain an industry-recognized credential,” Rich Okoniewski, the center’s director and principal, said in a statement.

GRCC will use its award to buy equipment for advanced automation training.

“GRCC values our collaboration with Lakeshore Advantage, Holland area employers and the MEDC to give local residents the ability to gain skills they need for today and for the future,” Julie Parks, the college’s executive director of workforce training.

“Industry 4.0 adoption is strong in this region, and this additional equipment is another piece that allows GRCC to make sure the workforce is ready to produce products that make Michigan a manufacturing leader.”

Finally, Ottawa ISD’s Thompson M-TEC service will use its funding to purchase training equipment for its West Olive campus for students pursuing certifications in robotic welding.

“We are honored to receive this grant from Lakeshore Advantage and excited to add two FANUC/Miller Robotic Weld Cells and further expand our Industry 4.0 training options for businesses and students in Ottawa County and beyond,” Tonia Castillo, director of adult training and career services for Thompson M-TEC, said in a press release.

Statewide, $3 million was distributed to workforce training centers through the MEDC grant program, according to Lakeshore Advantage.

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