Michigan : Grand Rapids Community College has a new agreement to provide training support for 33 new positions needed by an expanding Holland Township manufacturer.
Magna Sealing and Glass Systems, a division of Magna Mirrors of America, Inc., is GRCC’s 12th Michigan New Jobs Training Program agreement. The college provides companies assistance that ranges from highly specialized and customized training to basic skill development for new jobs.
The Board of Trustees on Monday, Dec. 12, authorized a revenue bond of $300,000 as part of the program for Magna, which designs, develops and manufactures advanced automotive components. The funds are expected to be paid over the course of the five-year agreement.
“The Issuance of the revenue bond is how we financially manage the training we provide,” said Lisa Frieburger, vice president for finance and administration at GRCC.
In June, the board also approved a $200,000 bond to train 21 new employees for Kentwood’s IP Consulting Inc. The estimated number of eligible new jobs resulting from agreements prior to June was 4,973.
Magna developed a new sunroof system in 2012, which has become a popular feature on luxury cars. In late 2013, the company began to renovate a warehouse facility for the testing and commercialization of the automotive sunroof technology and has continued to expand with new products, including a sleek power rear window for the Ford F150 pickup.
“The Michigan New Jobs Training program is an important piece to our work,” said Bill Pink, dean and vice president of workforce development, who will become the college’s next president in July.
“We are always willing to help our industry partners in meeting their training needs, and we’re excited to have Magna on board.”
Bert Bleke, chair of the Board of Trustees, said employers know that GRCC is the resource to obtain the highly skilled and trained workers they need to be successful.
He said students are earning two-year degrees, completing the first two years of their bachelor’s, as well as gaining certifications in high-demand skills that match the needs of the workforce. Each of the 33 positions exceed the minimum hourly pay wage of $14.88 required by state law, according to information submitted to the board. Magna provides full benefits, including health care and retirement.
The repayment agreement outlines that if the projected hiring pattern is met, the employer should be able to divert to the community college the state income tax withholding generated by the wages of the new employees receiving the training. Julie Parks, executive director of workforce training for GRCC, said they have been working on the partnership for two years.
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