Retirement bio of Dan Keyes

Dan Keyes began at GRCC 27 years ago in the Business & Technical Training department (later renamed Training Solutions and then Workforce Development).  He has held various positions within this area throughout the years including Program Manager, Trainer Manager, and Quality Manager/Consultant.

“Being at GRCC has provided me with so many opportunities to utilize and continue to grow in my two primary areas of expertise, the use of The Scientific Method and Systems Thinking.”  Through his work, he had the opportunity for “further development and use of continuous improvement and strategic planning principles and techniques with both external and internal colleagues and customers.”  He also had the opportunity to be involved in many opportunities, including the Pathways for Manufacturing Success program, the Business & Technical Training Quality Management Training, and the co-development of GRCC’s Lean Champion Program.

“I have had wonderful conversations with colleagues here at GRCC, and have learned so much in the process.” 

Dan’s retirement plans include moving to his home in Santa Fe, NM.  He will participate in multiple volunteer opportunities and activities including fly fishing, gardening, hiking and photography.

Thank you, Dan, for your dedicated service to GRCC!  We wish you all the best and look forward to hearing about your adventures!

Retirement bio of Donna Kragt

Donna Kragt began her career at GRCC in 1993 as the Director of Institutional Research.  Prior to coming to GRCC, Donna spent 7 years with Grand Rapids Public Schools.  In 2000 she became the Dean of Institutional Research, and “the responsibility for Planning came a couple of years later.”

Donna states that she has “always most enjoyed the large group engagements at GRCC such as Opening Days, Learning Days, Strategic Leadership Team, Academic Governing Council and all the cross functional teams.  Watching groups of diverse people come together to create and implement strategies to implement our mission and improve the whole has always excited me.  I am very proud to have been a part of it!”

“I have always been very proud of the caring culture at GRCC.  This caring culture is evidenced by how we provide learning experiences to students. This caring culture is also expanded to the faculty and staff in terms of person to person interactions as well as college policies and procedures.  I often tell people that I hit the jackpot of employers when I took the job at GRCC!”

Donna states that her post retirement plans of travel and volunteering have been put on hold due to COVID, but looks forward to pursuing those activities as soon as possible.  She also recently accepted a position as a Data Coach for Achieving the Dream which will begin in February, 2021.

Congratulations on your retirement Donna, and a heartfelt thank you for your dedicated service to GRCC!  We will miss you and look forward to hearing about your adventures!

GRCC earns $5 million U.S. Labor Department grant to partner with other community colleges, provide skills to grow regional healthcare workforce

Student in mask and face shield looking at a computer.

Grand Rapids Community College was awarded a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to build capacity at GRCC and four other Michigan community colleges to meet regional healthcare employer’s demands for a skilled workforce.

GRCC is one of only 11 community colleges nationwide to receive the grant — and was one of only four schools receiving the top award of $5 million — through the department’s Strengthening Community College Training program.

“We are proud to be part of an area-wide effort to help our region recover from the pandemic, and provide residents with new skills that can get them started in a growing field that is especially important in West Michigan,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “We are grateful that the Department of Labor is supporting this work.”

GRCC will work with a coalition of Michigan community colleges, workforce development organizations and healthcare employers to address skills needs and different modes of instructional delivery. West Michigan Works! and GRCC will lead this work in partnership with the Michigan Community College Association, and Alpena, Lansing, Oakland, and Muskegon community colleges.

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