FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
Dec. 9, 2016 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College will celebrate the graduation of 80 Job Training students on Dec. 13.
The students have completed training in the Automotive Technician, Construction Electrical, Introduction to Construction, Machinist/CNC Technician, Residential Construction, Computer Support Technician and Welding/Fabrication Technician programs.
This group also includes 14 graduates of a pilot CNC program for English as a Second Language students.
The goal of the program, which GRCC developed in partnership with the Hispanic Center of West Michigan and the Literacy Center of West Michigan, is to help ESL learners get skilled trades training that will lead to higher-wage careers, while improving their English language skills. The Hispanic Center helped recruit and retain people who would benefit from the training, while the Literacy Center worked with GRCC to create a course that teaches English language skills along with the technical skills for a Machine CNC operator.
"One graduate of this program is using what he learned to improve his business," said John VanElst, program manager at GRCC's Tassell M-TEC facility. "Another graduate has received a promotion -- and raise -- because of new skills gained!"
Job Training graduation begins at 6 p.m. at Tassell M-TEC, 622 Godfrey Ave. SW. Dr. Bill Pink, vice president and dean for Workforce Development, will address the students.
"GRCC is proud of our Winter 2016 graduating class," said Scott Mattson, Job Training manager. "These students successfully completed a rigorous training program of over 600 hours and GRCC is excited to celebrate this accomplishment with the graduates and their guests."
He noted that the Job Training completion rate is 87 percent, with 84 percent of the students already placed in positions.
Andrew Hansma is one of the students already putting their skills to use. He came to the CNC Technician program in August through Michigan Works and quickly became a top student. His job developer notified him of a machining opening at a local employer. Hansma interviewed and was offered a job on the spot! He began the very next week, working part time while completing the program.
“I was excited to get to work!” he said. “My instructor was great and really gave me the confidence I needed. The skills I have learned put me ahead of the game in securing a good-paying job. Plus, my training will help me move forward more quickly than others.”
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.