GRCC’s Core Construction program wins state award



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


June 9, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Grand Rapids Community College, the Construction Workforce Development Alliance and Michigan Works! of Kent and Allegan counties received statewide recognition this week for a program that builds skills to fill high-demand construction jobs.

The statewide Michigan Works! Association presented a Prosperity Award to representatives of GRCC and the alliance — a collaboration of the Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids, the American Subcontractor Association of Michigan and the Associated Builders and Contractors of West Michigan — for their Core Construction Certification program. The Prosperity Awards recognize programs that create an economic impact through new jobs, transformational training and the development of a talent pipeline.

The 96-hour Core Construction program covers basic construction skills, and students can receive several certifications, including the OSHA 30 hour and First Aid, and from the National Center for Construction Education and Research.

“The Associated Builders and Contractors, and the Home Builders and American Subcontractors associations teamed up to work on developing a ‘talent pipeline’ for the future,” said GRCC President Dr. Steven C. Ender. “The program that they’ve helped us create is a culmination of those efforts. Industry professionals helped develop the curriculum; they chose the certifications, and they’ve taught in the classrooms alongside GRCC instructors.”

GRCC celebrated the graduation of the first 18 students in the program on May 21 — and all of them are already working for local builders and contractors. To see a video of the graduation, click here.

The alliance then worked with MiWorks! of Kent and Allegan counties to create 15 full-tuition scholarships for the Construction Core Jump Start Program, which starts this month. This intensive three-week program is targeted at high school seniors who might not be interested in a traditional degree program. Those who complete this summer program will be able to begin their career quickly, with a guarantee of at least two job interviews.

For fall 2014, plans call for adding three programs to the Construction Core curriculum: ironworks, concrete and carpentry.

“We were excited to team up with the Construction Workforce Development Alliance on this program, and we are proud that the state has found it deserving of the Prosperity Award," said Julie Parks, executive director of workforce training and Tassell M-TEC. “It’s a great example of how GRCC collaborates with local employers to ensure that our region supplies the best-trained talent in the world.”

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.