- Sponsorship -

GRCC to offer environmental certification programs

GRCC is playing a role in developing skilled workers in the areas of lead abatement, green infrastructure and water testing.

The new West Michigan Clean Water and Environmental Certifications Program will help build a talent pipeline for jobs involving water, public works, clean energy and river restoration.

“The workforce is aging and we need new people in the pipeline,” said Julie Parks, executive director for GRCC Workforce Training. “There are big opportunities for people if they want to change their careers or if they are looking to start their careers. GRCC will continue to be responsive to what the community needs for the future.”

GRCC will offer the training program, funded by a $150,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase, beginning in January. Representatives from GRCC, the cities of Kentwood and Grand Rapids and American Public Works Association Michigan Chapter will lead training.

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. Cost is just $25 per certification and GRCC plans to train a minimum of 60 people.

“The whole public works community across the nation is really going to be hurting for workers,” she said, noting that while the jobs may not be the most glamorous they are vital.

Pay varies for jobs in the fields. Lead abatement pays about $20 an hour and green infrastructure from $16 to 18 an hour, Parks said.

GRCC partnered with municipalities and organizations about areas of need for skilled workers. Those involved 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.

“There are over 300 homes in Grand Rapids that need to have lead removed,” Parks said.

The Grand River restoration project is in its beginning stages, she said, but needs could include relocating natural habitats and water testing.

An employer advisory team is helping 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 Hispanic Center of Western Michigan will help connect unemployed or underemployed residents to the program.

“We would like to diversify the workforce to reflect the demographics of the city,” Parks said.

Those interested in learning more should email workforcetraining@grcc.edu, or call 616-234-3800.

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

LATEST ARTICLES

The sky’s the limit (or is it?) for this accomplished model builder

Creative, innovative, imaginative … Many of today’s students are all that and more in a vast variety of interest areas. This series features students with exceptional and unusual gifts...

For MLK Day, educators discuss improving equity in education

A leading advocate on equity in education says Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy requires educators to dig deeper into making sure all students have what they need to thrive...

Virtual job-shadow opportunities available

Groundhog Shadow Day, which gives area students an inside look at different careers, is going virtual this year...

‘Hope on the horizon’ as local teachers start getting COVID-19 vaccine

Lincoln School special education teacher, Ann Post believes there is 'hope on the horizon' for Kent ISD teachers and educators across Kent County after receiving her first round of the COVID-19 vaccine...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Back to classrooms for GRPS students — finally

After 44 weeks and 4 days, GRPS students were back in their classrooms Tuesday...

Online poetry, multimedia course encourages mental well-being for middle schoolers

A Grand Rapids nonprofit has made online writing and mental health materials available free of charge. At least one local middle-school teacher says the series is powerful and helps build community among classmates...

Equity and inclusion leader named interim director of UPrep association

The founding director of the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Grand Rapids Community College is the new interim director of Grand Rapids University Preparatory Association...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS