GRCC celebrates new partnership with West Michigan Construction Institute

The West Michigan Construction Institute, a construction education center focused on developing the workforce of skilled construction professionals, celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting with students, Grand Rapids Community College and other partners.

WMCI, located at 801 Century Ave. SW, will launch officially during the fall. The institute had a soft launch this semester, with about 75 students and five classes. Enrollment and programs including carpentry, concrete and many others will launch during the fall semester.

“Partnering with WMCI is a game-changer for us, because it allows us to expand our rapidly growing electrical apprenticeship program and teach additional courses in an environment dedicated to the craft,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “GRCC has long been a proponent of the skilled trades, and we’re so thankful for this partnership to grow our offerings and increase the number of skilled tradespeople entering the West Michigan market to embark on rewarding careers in construction.”

WMCI is hosting part of the GRCC electrical apprenticeship program. It also offers daytime high school programming coordinated with and through area districts including Grand Rapids Public Schools, Northview and Jenison, as well as a partnership with the Literacy Center of West Michigan, offering a Construction Core program for non-native English speakers.

WMCI will host summer camps beginning in June for sixth through eighth graders to explore the construction trades and learn beginning basic skills such as hand and power tool use.

“We know WMCI’s new facility will make an impact on the demand for construction jobs in our region, which is needed as Michigan’s labor market remains in a state of flux,” WMCI President Jen Schottke said. “The interest in upcoming courses has been extraordinary – high school and adult students are excited and eager to use their hands and their minds for their career, and put the future into their own hands, literally.”

WMCI fills a shared need across the industry for more skilled construction professionals, as well as serving as a hub for talent recruitment, development and placement for the West Michigan commercial construction industry.

According to a recent model developed by Associated Builders and Contractors, the construction industry will need to attract nearly 650,000 additional workers nationwide on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022 to meet the demand.

“The demand for trained employees in Metro Grand Rapids and across Michigan is greater than we’ve ever seen. Simply put, we can’t find enough people, and it will only get more difficult with many of our employees approaching retirement age,” said Brian Potter, president of Architectural Metals Incorporated and chairman of the WMCI board of directors. “WMCI will educate hundreds of young, ambitious, expertly trained trade workers every year, which is going to make a huge difference in the market. WMCI’s state-of-the-art facility shows our region’s commitment to trade employment as a viable and noble career option and gives aspiring tradespeople a local facility for hands-on-learning during or after high school.”

Fall 2022 enrollment will open in late spring and WMCI students can select programs including Carpentry – Interior Finishes), and Concrete, as well as pursue certifications or professional development in additional specialties such as becoming a Building Industry Consulting Services International Certified Technician or Copper Installer.  Length of programs range from one-week certification trainings to multi-year craft training programs.

Additionally, WMCI is proud to host part of the GRCC electrical apprenticeship program.

The West Michigan construction industry is projected to grow almost 16 percent over the next ten years, while at the same time, nearly 48 percent of today’s construction workforce are expected to retire within the next 15 years.

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  1. Pingback: GRCC celebrates new partnership with West Michigan Construction Institute – SHOPPEX NIGERIA

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