GRCC In the News 11/01/2021

One Good Thing: Stephanie Thomas

10/29/21; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Time for One Good Thing — someone or something that makes West Michigan a good place to live. Today’s OGT is an unusual story come full circle.

In 2017, then 27 year old Stephanie Thomas enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College’s criminal justice program. She was spotted running on a treadmill, and approached about being on the Raider cross country team. She figured she was too old, especially having never run competitively before in her life. But, she took a shot. Turns out, she was really good. 

Business Person and Grand Rapids Native Clifford McClain

10/29/21; Grand Rapids Times

Mr. Clifford McClain is originally from Grand Rapids, but relocated to North Carolina. He is the owner and CEO of Regenerative Community Builders, which is a 501©3 that is now accepting tax contributions for a film project by Grand Rapids native and independent film maker Dante James. In this interview with the GR Times he discusses his roots in Grand Rapids, the challenges he faced as a minority business owner, supporting a film project and more.

… McClain: I got a degree in scenic design, which is setting up stages and I also went to school for engineering. I did some time at GRCC and then I went to Michigan State University for a few semesters and that was the end of it. My dad got sick and I had to come home so I ended up working with him. I worked with him and then opened up my own business in 1984. Back then, the state had programs for minorities and I went to a college almost every winter. They had programs that were run through a community college or through a university. They had programs like accounting, learning how to scale, blue print reading and other skill set classes. I don’t think that there is anything like that available anymore. of them just being businesses. One of the things that did help me was getting a contract with the gas company, because I was working with Mich Con out of Detroit and that allowed me to grow and be able to create jobs for the community. In North Carolina there are opportunities throughout the state. I think that they are doing a great job with a lot of the programs that have in place for growing minority businesses. Having a business in Charlotte was the reverse of what I experienced in Grand Rapids. If I needed something, the resources are available and they helped me actually scale my business. I was able to draw from HBCU’s here and even employ interns today.

County welcomes immigrants

10/29/21; Grand Rapids Business Journal

Kent County organizations are rallying community members and resources to ensure hundreds of Afghan refugees feel welcome in the community and help them adjust to life in West Michigan.

… (Quote from Omar Cuevas, member of Growth Welcome Plan Steering Committee): “GRCC, for example, was doing great work in providing training for builders’ licenses in Spanish. So that’s great, but guess what? If you wanted to take the exam at the state level, you could only take it in English. So, what did we do? We leaned on (the chamber’s) governmental affairs team of registered lobbyists and they went to work and a couple months ago were able to get the state to say yes, all right, this makes sense. Let’s go ahead and move forward with the exam (also) being in Spanish.”

GRCC volleyball team wins 8th MCCAA championship title

10/30/21; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College’s volleyball team is celebrating its eighth MCCAA Championship win!

GRCC women’s volleyball wins MCCAA title

10/30/21; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Community College women’s volleyball is celebrating a Michigan Community College Athletic Association volleyball championship.

Family-owned Request Foods’ expansion a ‘win’ for local ag economy

10/30/21; The Holland Sentinel

HOLLAND TWP. — Request Foods’ decision to invest $205 million in the Holland Township Industrial Park instead of Greenville, South Carolina, will have ripple effects through the economy.

… The company, which employs about 1,000 workers, expects to create nearly 200 more jobs. Job training assistance from West Michigan Works! in conjunction with Grand Rapids Community College will help train new and existing employees as part of the incentive package.

Bay partners to promote careers

10/30/21; The Mining Journal (Marquette)

ESCANABA — Bay College, Grand Rapids Community College and the City of Grand Rapids are teaming up for a project aimed at building a pipeline to careers in the water and wastewater industry. The project is supported by a national $3.8 million U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant.

Industry leaders work to address staff shortages in water industry

11/1/21; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Community College, the city of Grand Rapids and Bay College in Escabana are getting about $500,000 from the federal government to address labor shortages in the water industry.

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