Partners: Kentwood donates truck to help GRCC Public Works Academy boost training for municipal careers

Kentwood mayor and President Pink standing in front of a donated Public Works vehicle.

Students in Grand Rapids Community College’s Public Works Academy gain hands-on experience preparing for rewarding careers in area municipalities — a training that just got better through a donation from the City of Kentwood.

Kentwood leaders delivered a 2005 Sterling dump truck with an underbody plow on Monday, which will help students prepare for a variety of roles in the field of public works.

“This donated truck will give GRCC students an opportunity to earn their commercial driver’s license for public works and get experience in the type of truck they will use on the job when they are hired by a municipality or employer who requires that license – our graduates will be ready for work on Day 1,” said Julie Parks interim dean of the School of Workforce Development.  

“The vehicle will also be an important component in recruiting the next generation of public works employees. Our summer public works camp, middle school and high school outreach activities will include the use of the truck.  It will provide another opportunity for students to learn about careers in a vital field.”

GRCC’s Public Works Academy launched in 2018 to help local communities fill vitally important jobs. At the time, it was the first municipal workforce training program in Michigan and the third in the nation.

The academy is a partnership that includes public works departments for the cities of Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Grand Haven, in addition to the road commissions from Kent, Muskegon and Van Buren counties, the Michigan Department of Transportation, Prein&Newhof, Rowe Professional Services Co. and the west Michigan chapter of the American Public Works Association.

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