Two Michigan Colleges Share Grant to Help Adults Seek Higher Education

As quickly as the country’s job market is changing, there may not be enough skilled workers to fill the current gaps. For this reason, Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Community College are working together to address these concerns through a $1.2 million federal grant. The shared funds will go toward increasing the number of adults or non-traditional students with a secondary education or vocational training. The two counties the grant will focus on are Kent and Muskegon counties.

There are similar grants available on GrantWatch to Michigan nonprofits, agencies, and schools. These grants are to enhance the quality of life for residents. For example, these areas include community development, housing and neighborhood revitalization, career readiness and education, and talent attraction and retention.

Michigan’s Talent Gap

As a state, Michigan has long had a talent gap, especially in rural areas. As a result, many employers are losing profits, because they don’t have enough employees for the number of jobs available. For this reason, programs like this are key to helping adults get the skills needed to apply for these jobs.

However, according to a press release from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, this initiative follows suit of a bigger goal his office has. The goal being to get the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or degree up to 60 percent by 2030. Currently, this number is only at 49 percent.

“State government alone can’t do what needs to be done,” said Susan Corbin, the acting director of Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “We need more partners to get on board and help us spread the word and encourage more Michiganders to consider their options.” 

What Will the Grant Do?

This particular grant comes from the U.S Department of Education and will help build a TRIO Educational Opportunities Center. At the center, these adults will work with campus specialists for counseling and information on support services for non-traditional students.

“The Laker Educational Opportunity Center will help adults in Kent and Muskegon counties break down the barriers to their career success,” said GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella. “Its impact on West Michigan’s economy will be almost immediate as participants will fill jobs and increase the area’s productivity.”

Through the five-year grant, the center will have the capacity to service 850 adults a year. Specifically, ideal candidates would be 19 years old or older from an underrepresented community. They would also preferably be the first person to attend college.

Some of the services that will be offered through this program:

  • financial literacy training
  • assistance with postsecondary admission and financial applications
  • career assessments
  • field trips to area businesses

GrantWatch also has similar grants of up to $10,000 to U.S. nonprofit organizations for programs that improve literacy among adults. This funding is to support new and existing educational and literacy programs that teach adults literacy skills that will enable them to grow, communicate, and thrive

GrantNews Notes

In addition, make sure to sign up for a paid subscription to GrantWatch to get access to its exact keyword search tool to help you find the best grant for your project needs.

Overall, GrantWatch does feature several relevant categories for similar initiatives to the one Grand Valley State University is spearheading. There is an entire category for education grants, as well as one for workforce related grants.

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