©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Governor Announces Grants to Assist 18 Companies in Barry and Kent Counties

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Michael Shore, MEDC
(517) 335-4590

Training Will Upgrade Skills of 1,381 Workers

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced $506,602 in Economic Development Job Training grants to upgrade the skills of 1,308 current workers and 73 new hires at 18 companies in Barry and Kent counties through Grand Rapids Community College. The grants, provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation as part of the Manufacturing Competitiveness Program (MCP), will provide employees with state-of-the-art training in information technology, lean manufacturing and advanced processes.

"The leaders of these companies know that a highly trained and skilled workforce is critical to keeping their manufacturing firms strong," Granholm said. "Strengthening these companies will strengthen West Michigan communities by creating and retaining jobs in this critical industry."



The following three companies will utilize a $145,299 grant for information technology training:

  • Gordon Food Services in Grand Rapids will use $34,920 to train 37 current workers;
  • Meijer Great Lakes Limited Partnership in Grand Rapids will use $72,551 to train 104 current workers; and
  • Provia Software in Grand Rapids will use $37,828 to train 27 current workers.

The following six companies will benefit from a $137,478 grant for advanced manufacturing training:

  • BMC in Grandville will use $17,426 to train 35 current workers;
  • GR Spring & Stamping, Inc. in Grand Rapids will use $33,574 to train 200 current workers;
  • Hastings Manufacturing Company in Hastings will use $32,409 to train 174 current workers;
  • Paladin Industries, Inc. in Kentwood will use $14,284 to train 27 current workers and three new hires;
  • RoMan Manufacturing in Grand Rapids will use $22,046 to train 73 current workers; and
  • Wolverine Coil and Spring Company in Grand Rapids will use $17,739 to train 42 current workers.

The following nine companies will share a $223,825 Michigan Regional Skills Alliance EDJT grant administered through the MCP:

  • Butterball Farms in Grand Rapids will use $7,879 to train 24 current workers;
  • Hekman Furniture in Grand Rapids will use $6,019 to train 17 current workers;
  • Notions Marketing Corporation in Grand Rapids will use $2,917 to train 7 current workers;
  • Pridgeon & Clay in Grand Rapids will use $110,109 to train 190 current workers and 40 new hires;
  • Spectrum Cubic in Grand Rapids will use $41,766 to train 130 current workers and 10 new hires;
  • Spectrum Industries in Grand Rapids will use $31,619 to train 182 existing workers and 18 new hires;
  • TAS CNC Company in Grand Rapids will use $2,809 to train six current workers;
  • The Decc Company in Grand Rapids will use $2,148 to train five current workers; and
  • Vi-Chem Corporation in Grand Rapids will use $18,559 to train 28 current workers and two new hires.

"EDJT grants have helped arm thousands of Michigan workers with the skills that make them marketable in today's challenging global economy," MEDC president and CEO James Epolito said. "Without this funding, Michigan companies would be forced to look elsewhere for a skilled workforce."

Since 1994, more than $325 million in EDJT grants have helped over half a million Michigan workers improve their skills and enhance the competitiveness of their employers.

In her 2005 State of the State address, Governor Granholm emphasized the need to make Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Strengthening Michigan's workforce is part of that plan, with job training one of the tools used to enhance Michigan's business-friendly climate.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.