Holiday Breakfast is back in person

On the morning of Friday, December 16, join your GRCC colleagues in celebrating the holidays. Enjoy a warm, hearty breakfast; wear your most fun & festive holiday apparel; and have fun with friends!

We’ll be gathering in the Raider Grill located on the 2nd floor of the  Student Center. Breakfast available from 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Additional seating available in the Quiet Cafe and MultiPurpose Room. 

The program begins at 8:30 a.m. Ugly sweater contest is back and sign in upon arrival for the gift raffle too!

Please accept the calendar appointment (sent a few months ago) if you’re planning to attend so we can accurately plan for food & beverage quantities. 

See you there!

Tech Tip: Utilizing multiple desktops

If you are a single-monitor user (or even if you use an external monitor) it may be handy to have multiple virtual desktops. Juggling different projects on the same computer can be tricky but using a virtual desktop can be very similar to using multiple monitors giving you more space to work.  

Multiple desktops are great for keeping unrelated, ongoing projects organized, or for quickly switching desktops before a meeting. You can add an unlimited number of them as well. 

These instructions can be found in the knowledge base article titled Utilizing Multiple Desktops. Please feel free to bookmark it for future reference.

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing 

Verbal De-escalation Skills: Spots still open

There are still spots open in the upcoming Verbal De-escalation Skills training session. 

This learning opportunity, led by Pine Rest staff, introduces communication skills and strategies proven successful to calm hostility in a safe manner. The session aims to help participants learn methods to remain calm and react more effectively when confronted with anger.

In some cases, we can avoid bigger issues if we learn how to redirect a disrupting situation with a student, employee, or visitor from becoming a crisis. 

Register via your Online Center account, Professional Development tile.

Workforce Wednesday: Cesar Mejia builds skills for a career while building homes

After graduating high school in Indiana, Cesar Mejia moved to West Michigan to be closer to family.

“I had taken some construction classes in high school and my cousins knew that I was interested in it,” he said. “They suggested that I look into GRCC. When I saw how this program is set up I thought ‘Wow! that’s cool’ it’s onsite and hands-on, so I signed up!”

The GRCC Residential Construction Job Training program takes place on a construction site, where students build a new home. Students get hands-on lessons and application about the entire process of residential building including blueprint reading, site layout, concrete, carpentry, door and window installation, roofing, siding, and interior finishing.

“I’m more of a hands-on learner,” he said. “I’ve never seen any other program like it. I love that we build homes that people are really going to live in.”

Mejia also works full time third shift before heading to the job site. “It’s a long day but it’s worth it.”

Graduates are qualified for employment in the residential construction industry. The program focuses on constructing homes that achieve a 5-Star Energy rating, are Michigan Green Built, and LEED Certified.

Mejia gets lots of gratification from seeing the finished product.

“We have built this house from the ground up,” he said. “There was nothing here and now a there is a whole house. It’s very satisfying. I want to build homes, I love it.”

Mejia has also built relationships that will last a lifetime.

“At first, I was nervous about the teacher but Kyle (Lackscheide) is the greatest, so wonderful. Honestly, I love the guy. He doesn’t feel like a teacher. He is really a friend. He has taught me so much.”

All of the GRCC Job Training programs has small class size, no more than 16 students.

“After you get to know the other students they become friends. Some of the guys are like brothers to me. I came here not knowing anyone but my family and now I made all of these friends.”

Mejia is excited about his future. “I will be going into this field knowing as much as I can.”

He is confident that he has the skills for the job. “This program has taught me siding, roofing, framing, I have learned so much.”

GRCC offers two 18 week Job Training Certificate programs in the field of Construction; Residential Construction, and Construction Electrical.

New sessions of GRCC Job Training programs begin throughout the year. The next session begins January 23, 2023. For more information go to

GRCC, University of Michigan Health-West create pipeline of local nursing talent with tuition support, professional experience

Grand Rapids Community College and University of Michigan Health-West established a creative partnership to fill the critical need for nurses by combining tuition support with paid on-the-job professional experience.

“By removing cost barriers – including for adult learners and others who need to continue working while finishing their education – the program creates and nurtures a diverse pipeline of local healthcare talent,” said Dr. Peter Hahn, UMH-West CEO.

“We see this as an investment not just in our workforce but in West Michigan itself,” Hahn said. “This is a way to ensure that the new generation of rising healthcare leaders reflects the communities we serve.”

The program also addresses an urgent need amid warnings of a nationwide shortage of nurses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts more than 203,000 openings for registered nurses each year through 2031.

Made possible by a grant from the University of Michigan Health-West Foundation, the program launches in December. Here is how it works:

  • Students who have completed one semester of GRCC’s Nursing Program can apply for the program and have up to three semesters of their GRCC tuition paid by UMH-West
  • They will commit to working at UMH-West for two years upon completion of the GRCC program and becoming licensed as registered nurses
  • During their employment as registered nurses, UMH-West will encourage and support their completion of a bachelor’s degree in nursing through existing partnerships and tuition reimbursement

“GRCC has a great program and they put out some outstanding nurses,” said Steve Polega, chief nursing officer – and a GRCC graduate. “Once they have that two-year degree, they will have a chance to put their skills to work, explore their career passion and advance toward their BSN – which opens a whole new level of opportunity for nurses.”

Dr. Juan R. Olivarez, GRCC’s interim president, said the partnership exemplifies GRCC’s long history of helping a diverse community of learners of all ages to gain the education and skills they need to pursue rewarding careers.   

“Partnerships make communities stronger,” Olivarez said. “This program’s innovative approach is a great example of how working together creates opportunities for students while helping healthcare providers and our greater community.”  

Michelle Richter, GRCC Nursing program director, said the program is a great extension of the school’s approach to nursing education, which combines classroom instruction with clinical applications.

“We are proud of the success rate of our students, and this should help open doors to more of them,” Richter said. “Assisting students with tuition allows them to focus on completing their education, and ultimately enter the workplace more quickly and better prepared. The opportunity for employment upon graduation allows students to be able to serve the community in a rewarding career, and continue adding skills and advancing their education.”

The goal is for 10 to 15 nursing students to sign up in December and graduate in April 2023. The program seeks to enroll 10 more nursing students each of the next three semesters: December 2023, April 2024 and December 2024.

“We know that GRCC nursing students are especially committed to their community,” said Kate Veenstra, associate chief nursing officer at UMH-West. “They also bring diverse backgrounds and experiences. These are values we share at UMH-West, and we’re really looking forward to building these mutually beneficial relationships.”

GRCC In the News 11/30/2022

UM Health-West teams up with GRCC to create pipeline nursing program

11/29/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – University of Michigan Health-West (UMH-West) is offering up to three semesters of paid tuition to Grand Rapids Community College nursing students.

UMH-West y Grand Rapids Community College crean una fuente de talento de enfermería local

11/29/22 El Vocero

WYOMING, MICHIGAN (EVH) – University of Michigan Health-West y Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) anunciaron una asociación creativa para satisfacer la necesidad crítica de enfermeras al combinar el apoyo de matrícula, con experiencia profesional remunerada en el trabajo.

(WYOMING, MICHIGAN (EVH) – University of Michigan Health-West and Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) announced a creative partnership to meet the critical need for nurses by combining tuition support with paid professional on-the-job experience.)

UMH-West, GRCC team up to create pipeline of local nursing talent

11/29/22 WZZM

The University of Michigan Health-West and Grand Rapids Community College partnered to provide tuition assistance to help fix the nursing shortage.

DBusiness Daily Update: Oakland County Investing $1M to Aid Development of Affordable Housing, and More

11/29/22 DBusiness

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

… University of Michigan Health-West and Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) today announced a partnership to fill the critical need for nurses by combining tuition support with paid on-the-job professional experience.

UM Health-West partnering with GRR in nursing student tuition program

11/29/22 Black Information Network

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – On Tuesday, University of Michigan Health-West and Grand Rapids Community College announced a tuition program to help becoming a nurse more affordable.

GRCC and University of Michigan Health-West partner to create local nursing talent pipeline

11/30/22 Grand Rapids Business Journal

A new program aims to help diversify local nursing talent, while creating a pipeline to help solve nursing shortages. 

A grant from University of Michigan Health-West (UMH-West) in partnership with Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC), will help keep diverse, local talent in the area and curb the nursing shortage, plugging GRCC graduate nurses into UMH-West hospitals to serve the West Michigan community. 

GR Promise Zone Mentorship Program: Looking for mentors

We are looking for local community members and professionals to serve as mentors to our Promise Zone students.

Our goal is to help create and grow a student’s career and life skills, as well as expand their professional networking opportunities.

We want to focus on career-oriented support and coaching by our mentors and provide Promise Zone students with real-life experience to prepare them for their future beyond college.

For more information on the mentor requirements and objectives, visit our mentorship webpage.