Play and Learn GRCC Winter Celebration

Play and Learn GRCC is hosting Winter Celebration on Wednesday, December 21 from 9 a.m. to noon at the GRCC Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Lab, 210 Lyon NE, Grand Rapids.

Come help us celebrate another year of play! We hope you will join us for some wintery fun!

This event is open to faculty, staff and students living in Kent County who have children infant through 5 years old.

Workforce Wednesday: The One Workforce Welding Program for English Language Learners creates opportunities to advance in careers

Grand Rapids Community College’s One Workforce program provides training for in-demand careers, by also opportunities for residents to improve English language skills.

The One Workforce Welding Program for English Language Learners offers residents the opportunity to gain skills for entry level welding positions.  It is a short-term program to get welders work in West Michigan, with the goal of helping these individuals grow into apprenticeships or other learning opportunities within the welding field.

This program is a collaboration between The Hispanic Center of West Michigan and GRCC Workforce Training.

During the 12-week training program, students learn basic welding skills which provides them the ability to gain employment as a welder. One Workforce grant funds also cover the cost of an interpreter and additional support to succeed in an advanced manufacturing skills education.

Edgar Ocampo, Salvador Quintino and Adolfo Reyes have worked through the program to gain welding skills and advance their careers.

Ocampo has worked at Dennen Steel for six years.

“I am so happy to be in this class,” he said.

Ocampo does a different type of welding at work now but feels that by learning these new skills, he will get better.

“I am hoping to get my journeyman’s card in the future,” he said. “Having the interpreter is very helpful. Without the One Workforce grant covering the costs, I probably wouldn’t be able to take the class.”

Quintinoheard about the program from a friend who works at the Hispanic Center.

“When she told me about the class, I thought it was a great plan for me,” he said. “Something new, something to get out there. I like to try new things. Taking this class, and learning new skills will help me get better job opportunities.”

Quintono works at Tubelite.

“The class has already provided new opportunities at my current job,” he said. “Now that my supervisor knows that I can weld, he is asking me to weld stuff.”

Quintono had never welded before.

“Welding is pretty cool. You have to be calm and patient when welding and that fits well with my personality,” he said. “I was a little bit nervous at first because there is fire and smoke.”

Quintono said the class has been excellent.

“I have learned so much. John (Doneth) is a great teacher.” 

Even though Salvador is fluent in English, he appreciates hearing it all in Spanish too.

“Having both languages has been cool. I get to learn the material in both languages.”

Reyes learned about the One Workforce program from his wife, who helped him register

“My wife is the one who saw the webpage and she helped me get on board.”

Adolfo is working as a commercial roofer.

“I’ve always been interested in welding,” he said. “I am hopeful that by learning these new skills I can will get a job welding and get paid more.”

Having an interpreter in class has made the learning possible.

“Without Ben interpreting, the instructor would have to go very slow and even then, I may miss something,” he said.  

The program’s goal is to build an accessible pathway into the field of welding with a focus on producing ready-to-work welders for Kent County companies. The One Workforce grant works to attract, retain, and graduate individuals of different genders and racial/ethnic backgrounds to welding careers.

For many adult learners, class schedule can be a barrier. The program is offered at night, which allows students to continue working and taking care of their family responsibilities.

After gaining the skills to move into a career in manufacturing, our team of Job Developers will connect these students with local manufacturing employers who are hiring for well-paying, advanced manufacturing jobs.

For eligible residents, the program may assist with the cost of up to four contact hours at the in-district rate, Job Training programs in CNC/Machine Tooling, and Welding, or additional costs including books, tools, and boots.

Interested residents can submit an inquiry form located on the One Workforce webpage at

GRCC basketball player Marlene Bussler earns MCCAA Northern Conference Player of the Week honors

Marlene Bussler of the Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team was named Michigan Community College Athletic Association Northern Conference Player of the Week.

“Marlene’s play over the past week was a big part of our success,” said head coach David Glazier. “It is fitting to see her recognized for her efforts.”

Bussler, a Battle Creek native who attended Harper Creek High School, is coming off a season-high 22 points and four steals in Thursday’s game against the Hope College junior varsity team, helping her team to a double-overtime 71-69 victory. 

Bussler leads the team in scoring, averaging 13.3 points per game. She is the team’s best three-point shooter, shooting at a 35.3 clip from behind the arc, and the team’s leader in steals, averaging 2.5 per contest.

The women’s basketball team is off to a 4-2 start and competes in the Lake Land College tournament this weekend in Mattoon, Illinois. It will take on Lake Land – currently ranked No. 6 in the nation – on Friday at 6 p.m. and Spoon River College on Saturday at 2 p.m.  

West Michigan Works! names GRCC Workforce Training 2022 Partner of the Year for helping students gain in-demand skills

Grand Rapids Community College’s efforts to work with employers to connect residents with in-demand career skills is being honored by West Michigan Works! as the 2022 Partner of the Year.

West Michigan Works! annually recognizes an organization for its partnership, collaboration and contributions to workforce development. Awardees are selected by the West Michigan Works! Workforce Development Board.

The organization works with employers to provide jobseekers with the support, training and services they need to get back to work, find new employment, and obtain needed credentials.

GRCC was nominated for its demonstrated commitment to advancing workforce development in West Michigan.

“Congratulations Grand Rapids Community College, our Partner of the Year, for their outstanding collaboration on regional workforce development programs and initiatives!” WMW! Director of Talent Solutions Tasha Evans said.

“GRCC has worked with WMW! to create career pathways through JobSync and CareerPoint, and to develop career pathways maps through grant programs such as One Workforce. As the administrator of major workforce initiatives such as One Workforce, Talent Pathways and MiLEAP, GRCC provides strategic leadership on the WMW! workforce development board and various committees and councils.”

Julie Parks, GRCC Dean and Executive Director of Workforce Training, and Interim Dean of Business and Industry, accepted the award on behalf of the college at the organization’s annual board meeting on Monday.

“We are honored to have our partnership with West Michigan Works! Recognized,” Parks said. “Working together with our employers will make West Michigan the place people will want to move to for rewarding careers.”

GRCC each year provides thousands of students with career skills training, with partnerships with more than 450 area employers. Classes are offered at the downtown campus, Leslie Tassell MTEC in Grand Rapids and at the GRCC Lakeshore Campus in Holland.

Students can work with career coaches and job developers to gain employability skills. Staff also works with students to determine if they are eligible for programs such as One Workforce and Metallica Scholars, which lower or eliminate costs for training in select areas.

Additional information is available at

Tech Tips: Schedule Send an email in Gmail

Did you know that you can schedule an email to be sent at a later date? Have an email ready to go but don’t want people to see the content until after a certain time?

Watch the video below and Jim from our IT Media Department will show you how to schedule an email to send.

Schedule Send an Email in Gmail

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk at x4357.

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

GRCC in the News 12/14/2022

1,500+ still eligible for Grand Rapids Promise Zone scholarships

12/9/22 FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College says funds are still available for more than 1,500 students who graduated within the Grand Rapids Promise Zone.

Ferris State taps longtime GRCC foundation director as next vice president for advancement

12/9/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Ferris State University has tapped the director of the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation to lead Ferris State’s advancement and marketing efforts.

Waubonsee Community College announces new president

12/9/22 Shaw Local News Network

Waubonsee Community College announced Friday that Brian Knetl will become the college’s fifth president.

… According to a news release, Knetl currently serves as provost and executive vice president of academic and student affairs at Grand Rapids Community College.


12/9/22 Community College Daily (American Association of Community Colleges)

Brian Knetl will serve as the fifth president of Waubonsee Community College in Illinois. He is currently provost and executive vice president of academic and student Affairs at Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan.

Inspiring generations: Local Hispanic/Latino college Presidents share journey, wisdom

12/12/22 FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A symbol of progress and inspiration in West Michigan. For what’s believed to be the first time in Grand Rapids, all of our local college presidents are Hispanic or Latino.

… Juan Olivarez is the Interim President at Grand Rapids Community College.

Date announced for Food & Beverage Awards

12/12/22 Grand Rapids Magazine

The West Michigan Hotel District Food & Beverage Industry Awards are back (after a multiyear pandemic hiatus) and set to take place Jan. 2, 2023 at the Amway Grand Plaza.

… A portion of proceeds from the event will be donated to the Franz “Swiss” Imfeld Culinary Scholarship fund at Grand Rapids Community College.

Fish hobbyist becomes new owner of Tropical Fish Shoppe Inc. in West Fargo

12/13/22 The Forum (Fargo, N.D.)

WEST FARGO– Scott Eaves has always had a passion for aquariums and fish. When he found out Nancy Maag, owner of West Fargo’s Tropical Fish Shoppe, was retiring, he took his chance at turning his hobby into a living.

… Eaves is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. He earned a culinary arts degree from Grand Rapids Community College and worked as an executive chef for 23 years.

Celebrate Dr. Kathy Mullins’ career supporting GRCC students

An open house retirement celebration for Dr. Kathy Mullins, vice president for College Advancement and executive director of the GRCC Foundation, is planned for Thursday, Dec. 15 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in The Heritage restaurant.

Everyone is invited to stop by and thank Dr. Mullins for her years of service to GRCC and its students, and wish her the best in her new role as vice president for University Advancement and Marketing at our partner, Ferris State University.

Dr. Mullins has raised millions of dollars for student scholarships and facility improvements. She worked with community partners and donors to double the amount of money available for scholarships and generate resources to transform and modernize facilities throughout the campus.

Dr. Mullins also oversees GRCC’s Grants and Development team, which shattered the college record for grant funding to support students and programs. She also directed GRCC’s award-winning Communications and Web and Digital Strategy teams.

Dr. Mullins has headed the GRCC foundation since 2012. Last year, it distributed more than $1.4 million in scholarships to more than 1,600 students. The foundation also raised funds to renovate the historical Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, Steven C. Ender Hall and Custer Alumni House. A series of renovations and a new addition have transformed the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, a building that also houses Ferris programs.

“Dr. Mullins’ work at Grand Rapids Community College has had an impact on every student, whether they are supported by a scholarship or taking classes and accessing services in state-of-the-art facilities,” Interim President Juan R. Olivarez said. “She has built relationships with partners across the region to create more and better opportunities that bring about generational changes for students and their families.”

Please consider making a donation to the Foundation in her honor, a suggested designation would be the Women in Philanthropy scholarship. Kathy has worked hard to cultivate this scholarship over the last few years, with a special group of women from both the external and internal community.  When donating remember to include in the “tribute gift” field; in honor of Kathy Mullins, Women in Philanthropy scholarship.

Be loud and proud, refresh your headshot on Jan. 5

GRCC has outstanding faculty and staff members. Help us show students, potential students and community members the quality of the people here at GRCC serving our community by having a current headshot for the website and other uses.

The Communications Department is providing an opportunity for faculty and staff to have free headshots photographed from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 5 – Learning Day – on the third floor of the Student Center in the lounge area.

Without a headshot, the webpage shows a missing photo icon or a RaiderCard photo.

Communications stresses that GRCC provides an affordable education, but more importantly, a quality education. Our expert faculty and dedicated staff members are selling points! Help us highlight your work and attract new students by updating your headshot and web bio. 

Winter 2023 employee exercise classes

Start the year off right by making fitness a part of your routine! 

Boost your energy and meet new people and get stronger! 

GRCC employees have access to free exercise classes – take advantage of this great wellness benefit and join in the fun! Did you know that you can earn up to 5 hours of professional development by engaging in employee wellness?

Winter 2023 semester

January 9 to April 27, 2023


5:15-6:00 p.m.

Spin & Sculpt with Kelly

Rm 213 FFH


12:00-12:45 p.m.

Strength Blast with Lannie

Rm 212 FFH


12:00-12:45 p.m.

RaiderStrong with Lannie

Rm 212 FFH


12:00-12:45 p.m.

Fitness Fusion with Lannie

RM 212 FFH

Please complete the registration form and waiver and a calendar appointment for the entire semester will be sent for you to allocate that time to your personal wellness!

Think of it as self care time!

Questions or more information, contact