Banking & Finance, Higher Education, and Human Resources

Bank gives GRCC $50K

February 28, 2019
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GRCC automotive student
Courtesy GRCC

A bank, college and school district are working together to give high school students another opportunity for career exploration.

Huntington bank is providing a $50,000 grant, its largest in West Michigan, to establish the Connections to College and Careers program at Grand Rapids Community College.

The program is focused on helping Grand Rapids Public Schools students interested in attending GRCC boost their academics and participate in hands-on activities and visits to local employers.

“We’re building a seamless transition between GRPS and GRCC and preparing students for a successful future,” said Bill Pink, president, GRCC.

"Our economy is changing rapidly, and we need to have an educated, highly skilled workforce. This program allows students to start thinking about careers and focuses on the importance of post-secondary education to gain the skills and credentials for those rewarding jobs.”

The Connections to College and Careers program is meant to show students that some careers require credentials through workforce training and others require four-year degrees, while also emphasizing the importance of life-long learning.

Students in the program will visit GRCC monthly to explore departments through project-based learning activities.

They will also visit West Michigan employers monthly to learn about in-demand careers and education requirements.

As part of the program, Huntington will help students and their families improve their personal finance skills, helping them save for college and make career decisions. 

The program also includes monthly Saturday events at GRCC that include lessons from partners, including Huntington , and community nonprofits. Topics will cover budgeting, leadership development and strategies for college success. Students will be paid a stipend to attend the Saturday event, which will go into their savings accounts.

GRPS graduates will also have opportunities for summer activities before entering college, including boosting skills and career exploration.

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