Bank donates $150K for college training program


Courtesy GRCC

A college will start a training program focused on jobs related to water, public works, clean energy and river restoration projects after a bank’s $150,000 donation.

After the grant from JPMorgan Chase, GRCC is teaming up with the cities of Grand Rapids and Kentwood, the nonprofit Grand Rapids Whitewater, the Grand Rapids Chamber and the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority’s Whitewater Project team on the West Michigan Clean Water and Environmental Certifications Program.

Training will include the repair and maintenance of municipal water and wastewater systems, pipe and green infrastructure, water testing, hazardous materials removal and safety certifications.

“Area water systems depend on maintenance and restoration, but the workforce with these skills is aging, and there’s no current pipeline to bring in new talent,” said Julie Parks, executive director, GRCC Workforce Training. “We appreciate JPMorgan Chase’s support in helping us build and provide this essential training.”

An employer advisory team will help GRCC develop a curriculum, which will incorporate national credentials for stormwater and green infrastructure training.

Neighborhood groups and nonprofits, such as the Urban League of Greater Grand Rapids and the West Michigan Hispanic Center, will help connect unemployed or underemployed residents to the program.

Training is expected to start in 2020.

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