The U.S. Department of Labor awarded Grand Rapids Community College a $1.18 million grant.
The community college was one of 20 colleges in the country and one of two in Michigan selected for the new Job Corps Scholar Program. The program is designed to help students ages 16-24 gain job skills, educational opportunities and employment counseling.
GRCC will provide the services during a 12-month career technical training program, which will be followed by up to a year of employment counseling to help participants find jobs.
“GRCC will play an essential role in West Michigan emerging from the coronavirus crisis,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “Our economy will be strongest when everyone has opportunities to contribute and succeed. I’m proud this program will help people overcome obstacles and gain skills that can lead to rewarding careers but also can transform their lives.”
GRCC will work with community partners to identify about 80 students, including those who have faced numerous obstacles to success, including homelessness. Students will gain in-demand skills through employer panels, site visits, networking opportunities and mock interviews with feedback to help students gain good jobs.
In addition to career training, the community college will offer a Fast Track program, which is a three-week learning lab to improve math and reading skills.
“As we look toward defeating coronavirus and reopening our economy, the Job Corps Scholars Program provides an innovative way to prepare at-risk youth for participation in the job market,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said. “Combining job training, classroom education and employment counseling will give participating young adults an opportunity to excel.”