Tuesday, January 12, 1999
College is 1 of 8 M-TEC Grant Winners The Michigan Jobs Commission announced today that a proposal submitted by the local Michigan Works! agency, Ottawa County Department of Employment and Training, for Grand Rapids Community College is one of eight community colleges chosen to receive a Michigan Technical Education Center (M-TEC) grant. The grant, part of Governor John Engler's $50 million plan to help train skilled workers, will allow Grand Rapids Community College to build a 35,000 square foot technical center near Holland, next to the Careerline Technical Center. "As Michigan continues to be the number one state in the country for attracting and expanding companies, we need to be prepared with a strong and capable workforce," said Doug Rothwell, CEO and department director for the Michigan Jobs Commission. "By building these eight new technical education centers, we will be ready and able to meet the growing need for high-skilled workers." The college's plan includes $1,479,150 in up-front local matching dollars, and $50,000 in ongoing sustaining match commitments. The new technical education center will offer training in several occupational areas including: manufacturing, and construction. To reach more people, Grand Rapids Community College will offer flexible training and hours of operation to meet individual training needs. Today at a press conference in Grand Rapids, Cindy Ballard, Director of Career Preparation for the Michigan Jobs Commission was joined by Grand Rapids Community College officials and other local officials to make the announcement. "Grand Rapids Community College saw a need for a technical training center, worked with local partners, and developed a plan to create an innovative center to meet the needs of students and businesses in their community," said Ballard. "On behalf of the Governor, I commend Grand Rapids Community College for their vision and leadership, and wish them the best of luck and success with their new technical education center." Other grant winners include: Bay de Noc Community College, Henry Ford Community College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kellogg Community College, Lake Michigan College, Northwestern Michigan College, and Oakland Community College. The eight proposals range in cost from $700,000 million to $5.0 million. The state is also considering the possibility of allowing other schools, and/or colleges to become M-TEC certified. "By establishing a set of criteria, we hope to greatly increase the number of training facilities available to workers statewide, well beyond the eight sites that were announced today," added Rothwell. "Because of the number of strong applications received," Rothwell said, "there is also the possibility that additional capital funding will be made available to build more centers. Once the centers are open and fully operational, we expect about 30,000 students to be trained annually; and by providing more funding, even more Michigan men and women will be prepared to take the high wage, high-skill, high-demand jobs of the 21st century."