FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
Feb. 4, 2016 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A $449,862 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will help Grand Rapids Community College continue and expand its successful Pathways to Success program, bringing educational and employment services to vulnerable families.
The Pathways to Success program targets residents of Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming who have low-incomes, poor educational attainment, are single parents and have no or low employment. Challenges such as gender and racial barriers, and criminal backgrounds are also considered.
"Once again, GRCC is honored to receive grant funding from the Kellogg Foundation," said Bill Pink, vice president and dean for Workforce Development. "These funds will allow us to continue our work in the heart of Grand Rapids by helping to provide our communities with training and skills to secure good jobs."
Participants in the Pathways to Success program undergo skill assessments and receive training and coaching to move them into jobs. The Kellogg Foundation grant will allow the program to serve more people. It will also fund two pilot programs: one focused on those with criminal backgrounds and another that would assist those for whom English is not a native language.
Julie Parks, GRCC's director of Workforce Training, said a team at the Tassell M-TEC facility worked on reimagining and improving the Pathways program.
"This grant gives GRCC the opportunity to scale up our work in meeting the demands of local businesses and creating training to ensure individuals in Grand Rapids are gaining the skills needed for continued regional growth," she said.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.