Nonprofit opening technical training center


A group from the Kalamazoo-based Urban Alliance visits an employer. Photo via

A nonprofit is opening a technical training facility in the region.

The Kalamazoo-based Urban Alliance will open the Urban Alliance Technical Training Center as a vehicle for accelerated employment training for inner city residents in the skilled trades and technical fields. The new campus is scheduled to open in late fall and will be located at 400 Island Drive, Parchment.

Urban Alliance is partnering with Western Michigan University’s Bronco Force to develop the first of many new academies that will be run at the center, beginning with an Inventory Control and Warehouse Management Academy. Urban Alliance also is partnered with L.C. Howard Inc., which owns the building where the training facility will be located.

“We are excited to partner with WMU Bronco Force and L.C. Howard on such an innovative workforce development model in supply chain management,” said Luke Kujacznski, executive director of Urban Alliance. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our Momentum participants, WMU ISM students and faculty, and industry partners to work together to transform the communities we serve.”

The facility will support Urban Alliance’s Momentum Urban Employment Initiative, which currently adds more than 120 people to the Kalamazoo workforce annually.

Momentum places 93 percent of its graduates into good-paying jobs. Momentum graduates also stay employed at a rate of 90 percent after the initial 90 days of employment, according to WMU.

Urban Alliance still is in the process of raising the overall $2.4 million that the finished project will require, but intends to start small and build as funding is realized. The current location encompasses approximately 250,000 square feet of training space and about 18,000 square feet of office space.

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