GRCC starting municipal water system maintenance training program with JPMorgan Chase grant

Nov. 22, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Grand Rapids Community College will start a training program focused on jobs related to water, public works, clean energy and river restoration projects with a $150,000 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 of Commerce 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 for 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 and nonprofit groups 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.

“GRCC has strong partnerships with area municipalities’ workforce development work,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “This grant will help that collaboration grow, preparing the region for the changes planned for the Grand River, and the continued importance of prepared workforce to meet these needs.”

Training is expected to start in 2020. Those interested in learning more, should email workforcetraining@grcc.edu or call 616-234-3800.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 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.

 

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