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What was once seen as an interesting science fair project is looking more like it has potential to be a commercial reality.

The Literacy Center of West Michigan says that it is crucial to not only have employees trained in “hard skills,” but also in soft skills such as communication and punctuality that keep a company running smoothly.

While many companies may think of recycling as just a method to keep the environmentalists at bay, Haworth Inc. has found that, in fact, the practice pays off.

Monday, 29 October 2012 17:22

Snyder takes aim at ballot initiatives

Gov. Rick Snyder’s message about the state’s ballot proposals is simple: “Yes on 1 and no on the rest,” he said to a standing ovation Monday from the Economic Club of Grand Rapids.

Sunday, 28 October 2012 10:12

MEDC gets bigger slice of STEP program pie

Executives at Holland-based furniture manufacturer Trendway Corp. are seeing real returns from a new state export assistance program.

An independent graphic designer, Jason Six joined the ranks of Grand Rapids’ growing design community after a stint in the United States Air Force. He earned his graphic design degree from Grand Valley State University, but he got his experience in design at local firms Peopledesign and Highland Group, where he worked on campaigns for Guilford of Maine and izzy+.

Exposed to design at an early age, Joey Ruiter is an independent industrial designer whose clients include Nucraft Furniture Company and izzy+. Ruiter cut his teeth working on engines in his garage before attending Ferris State’s Kendall College of Art and Design, where he discovered industrial design and product development. Ruiter’s designs have won awards at trade shows such as NeoCon and have been featured in the New York Times.

When Mark Tanis founded Holland-based The Image Group in 1985, he intended it to be a sole-proprietorship, but as the years went by, the company expanded to serve large clients such as Western Michigan University and Metro Health. Now, The Image Group has more than 10 employees and has strong ties to Holland’s freelance talent pool.

A professor at Ferris State’s Kendall College of Art and Design, Dow specializes in teaching graphic design in advertising. During her tenure at KCAD, Dow helped develop the annual New York seminar for graphic design students as well as the college’s new digital media program.

Hernandez first stumbled across industrial design when a friend mentioned that he was looking into the industrial design program at Western Michigan University. Now, Hernandez runs Tiger Studio, a product design firm based in Holland.

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