GRAND RAPIDS — The increasing popularity of business courses at Grand Rapids Community College has helped the two-year academic institution increase online enrollment by 13 percent for the summer of 2012. Since 2009, online course enrollment has grown some 67 percent.
Even more revealing is online courses now account for 30 percent of all classes at GRCC. The two-year college offers more than 130 classes online.
GRAND RAPIDS — Some traditional business networking groups in West Michigan have been retooling to embrace a rapidly growing membership segment: technology professionals.
Certainly, the West Michigan Chapter of the American Marketing Association has expanded its traditional recruiting to include, for instance, experts in social media marketing, said outgoing chapter president Sheri Stetson-Compton, field sales senior marketing manager at Herman Miller.
COMSTOCK PARK — James Dean of Schoolcraft lost his wife, Diana, nearly four years ago.
This year he decided to do something to keep her memory alive, and introduce her to people who would stumble across the gigantic 4,000-pound granite headstone he had custom-etched by Patten Monuments Co. of Comstock Park. Affixed to the tombstone is a postage-stamp-sized QR code that links to a web page where he can share stories and photos of his late wife.
Open Systems Technology Inc., a technology consulting and integration company, added its 100th direct employee in April, making it one of the larger tech firms in West Michigan.
The company posted 2011 sales of $68 million. It is hiring at its Grand Rapids headquarters, plus offices in Ann Arbor and Minneapolis.
When Mark Sellers bought Grand Rapids Brewing Co. last year, he thought he bought all of its assets. But it turns out he had a cybersquatter parked on his website who refused to relinquish the domain name until the squatter, a Grand Rapids Internet promotions company, was paid $2,000.
Now Sellers owns the web address, GrandRapidsBrewingCompany.com, and will use the site to help market his new brewpub when it opens this August at the entrance to the city’s entertainment district on Ionia Avenue and Fulton Street.
In 15 years, the concept of privacy will be replaced by an all-intrusive social network connected to people who have wireless electronic devices implanted in their bodies.
Craig Hall, principal at Lee Shore Equities, hopes the upgrades to his 38 West Fulton St. building — home to San Chez Café on the first floor — will make way for what he’s calling the Grand Rapids Tech Hub.
So far, he’s moved The Factory, a co-working space with 1,700 square feet on the third floor, into 5,000 square feet on the top floor. Next he has plans to transform the remaining 13,000 square feet into executive offices and other amenities focused on growing technology startups in West Michigan.
Leaders of the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum knew their 14-year-old website was in need of an update. Enter Kenton Taylor and Steve Tularak, partners in Icavia, an agency specializing in creative and technological services.
CLIMAX — Stephen Jessup, principal of the Jessup Group, is a Battle Creek native who used to travel to large cities for his healthcare accounting business. But when CTS Telecom Inc. installed high-speed optic fiber to a building in his hometown, he cut back on his travel and did more business with his clients in cyber space.
More than a dozen of the 41 new vehicles launched during the press preview of the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit were hybrid, plug-in hybrid electric or all-electric vehicles.
Simple logic says when the economy is down, people and businesses aren’t as likely to spend. This means reduced production, layoffs and all kinds of belt-tightening.
Ben Angelo grew up listening to music from his folks’ giant collection of vinyl records. But when CDs took over the music scene in the 1990s, he left analog recordings behind.
Local colleges can’t keep up with the demand from employers for information technology graduates. Next spring, Grand Valley State University expects to graduate 60 students with bachelor’s degrees in computer science and information systems, and another 10 with master’s degrees. Calvin College has 15 bachelor’s candidates and Hope College has just one. Western Michigan University plans to graduate about 20-25 from its program.
Muskegon’s magnum opus of an urban waterfront park, Heritage Landing, soon will be getting greener. Light fixtures atop the teal lamp posts at Heritage Landing will be retrofitted this spring with new energy-efficient lights, although the county has not yet decided what kind.