‘Culture eats policy for lunch:’ Advancing diversity, equity and inclusion means changing how businesses operateWritten by Andy Balaskovitz
It’s not enough to announce diversity, equity and inclusion hiring commitments, it takes leadership teams that reflect more cultures.
GRAND RAPIDS — The city of Grand Rapids is developing an inclusion program meant to encourage the contracting of minority-owned, women-owned and micro-local businesses in projects involving public investment through tax incentives.
Keli Christopher founded the Grand Rapids-based nonprofit STEM Greenhouse six years ago to help K-12 students — in particular, children of color — along an academic path more comfortable than she experienced. As the first Black person to receive a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from the University of Illinois, Christopher endured a challenging and isolated path through higher education. Her mission now is to increase students’ exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the greater Grand Rapids area, where she still sees a diversity gap in STEM education. Earlier this month, Christopher was a featured speaker at the Southeast Grand Rapids Community and Economic Development Conference hosted by the Grand Rapids African-American Community Task Force. In an interview with MiBiz, Christopher discussed inequities in the nonprofit sector as well as the ongoing barriers to engaging more non-white students in STEM education.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today rolled out a $24 million initiative to provide tuition for workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic who lack a secondary education and want to earn an associate’s degree or professional certification.
GRAND RAPIDS — Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. is reallocating $50,000 it initially budgeted for ArtPrize 2020 toward a new event tentatively planned for September.
GRAND RAPIDS — After considering modifications to enable more social distancing and focus on outdoor spaces, the ArtPrize board of directors announced today it was canceling this year’s event as the nonprofit re-evaluates its future.
KALAMAZOO — The founding dean at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo plans to retire early next year.
Originally scheduled to kick off the 2020 season on April 9, the West Michigan Whitecaps remain in limbo along with 140 other Minor League Baseball teams across the country.
GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids Community College is one of 20 colleges nationwide to receive a grant from the United States Department of Labor to provide at-risk youth with job skills training and other educational opportunities.
A new program aims to give frontline workers in the COVID-19 pandemic a pathway into higher education.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, many companies delayed the start of new internships by weeks, while a few outright canceled their programs.
Leaders at public universities, community colleges and private schools across Michigan are getting a clearer picture of their budget shortfalls resulting from COVID-19, but uncertainty still clouds enrollment prospects and future in-person learning.
GRAND RAPIDS — Calvin University plans to use a $22.25 million anonymous gift to launch a new business school.
ALLENDALE — Grand Valley State University is tentatively planning to resume in-person classes for the fall 2020 semester while absorbing an anticipated $13 million budget shortfall related to the coronavirus.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday announced new programs for frontline COVID-19 workers while highlighting past efforts she says are meant to provide opportunity to working families during and after the pandemic.
For Michigan companies scaling back but not completely shutting down as the state tightens restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus, a little-used program is drawing new attention as an alternative to layoffs.
Colleges and universities from coast to coast are moving rapidly to close campuses and transition to virtual classrooms in lieu of face-to-face meetings as the spread of COVID-19 has transformed into a global pandemic.
The talent needs of employers are a constantly moving target that requires companies to foster and maintain close ties with educators to keep up with the demands of the 21st century economy.
As one of the first students to graduate from a workforce development program funded by heavy metal band Metallica, Krista Steffens developed skills that sparked her creativity and fueled under her career.
At a state-of-the-art machine tool laboratory in downtown Grand Rapids, a group of non-technical sales professionals learns about carbide, a compound made from carbon and metal, as well as takes in lessons about radial chip thinning, blueprinting and how tool cutting works.
By partnering with Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University on an innovation lab, Joe Van Harken and Jeff Joanisse want to explore the use of an emerging technology and cultivate needed talent.
GRAND RAPIDS — For many people who work behind a desk, the thought of being funny in front of an audience is terrifying.
Just more than a year into his presidency at Central Michigan University, Bob Davies has embarked on an ambitious 10-year strategic plan that outlines the vision for where the school needs to be by 2030. He said he initiated the effort in response to challenges CMU and other universities face in the current social, political and economic landscape. Davies sat down with MiBiz to talk about his time with the university thus far, how its students fit into the workforce and his goals for the future sustainability of CMU.
MiBiz presents the 7th Annual M&A Deals & Dealmakers Awards, our yearly spotlight of best practices and excellence related to mergers, acquisitions, capital formation and other types of dealmaking throughout West Michigan.
As students head off to college this fall, some of them in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will be blazing a trail when it comes to new fields of study: growing and testing hemp and learning how to lead a cannabis business.
Leading business groups support Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s latest attempt to boost the number of Michigan contractors on state projects, but hope the plan doesn’t ultimately deter small businesses from engaging in a “cumbersome” procurement process.
Since Bill Pink became the tenth president of Grand Rapids Community College two years ago, he has become a leading voice for the state’s network of 28 community colleges.
ALLENDALE — Grand Valley State University extended a capital campaign that now seeks to raise a targeted $100 million or more.
Samuel Stanley Jr., the president of New York-based Stony Brook University since 2009, will become Michigan State University’s next president Aug. 1.
In response to employers’ calls for action, colleges and universities throughout the state are making a major shift in their workforce training programs. Michigan State University and Western Michigan University, two of the state’s largest public universities, are responding to demands from business and industry leaders by collaborating with community colleges to add more accessible, job-focused credentialing programs to their curriculums.
BATTLE CREEK — The $22 million expansion of Western Michigan University’s College of Aviation at W.K. Kellogg Airport will include many visible signs of growth. Even so, Dave Powell, the dean of the aviation school, said he is focusing on an area of growth that’s less obvious: About 7 percent of all pilots and airline mechanics in the United States are people of color, and of that percentage about 2.5 percent are African American.
In a month, Tom Haas will retire from the presidency at Grand Valley State University. Under his 13-year watch, GVSU has added 30 undergraduate programs and 16 graduate programs, opened the Detroit Center and developed 2.5 million square feet of new facilities.
MUSKEGON — Two of the region’s leading academic water research institutes have forged a partnership to share resources and work together on water-related issues. Earlier this spring, Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) signed a memorandum of understanding with Michigan State University’s Institute of Water Research (IWR).
Grand Rapids-based iEducation Group, formerly known as Fusion Education Group, an operator of private middle schools and high schools that offer personalized education, has acquired Futures Academy of California.
Davenport University plans to expand a bachelor’s program for nursing in the Grand Rapids area to meet a talent shortage.
Leslie Bellavance plans to return to teaching and step down this summer as president of Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University.
Amid national declines in the number of people applying to MBA programs in recent years, business schools in West Michigan are reporting mixed results. While applications to the MBA programs dropped at Michigan State University and Western Michigan University, both Grand Valley State University and Central Michigan University reported receiving higher numbers of applications in recent years. Likewise, MBA enrollment trends were all over the map, with MSU and GVSU reporting more students while both WMU and CMU saw the opposite.
GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids Community College plans to use a $100,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to try to convince more middle school and high school students to consider a career in health care. The college plans to reach out to schools to encourage eighth-, ninth- and 10th-grade students to enroll in a trio of week-long “Health Care Scrubs Camps” scheduled for this summer that will introduce them to health care jobs in the region.
Buying a site in the Grand Haven area gives Muskegon Community College a permanent campus location in northwestern Ottawa County. MCC took possession this month of a former funeral home location on Lincoln Street in Grand Haven Township, just west of U.S. 31. The college paid $378,000 for the property, where it plans to invest another $432,000 in renovations and start hosting classes beginning this fall.
When Steve Huizenga seeks to recruit the next generation of tradespeople, he stresses to young candidates that the industry is “not your grandpa’s trade” anymore. Huizenga, president of Allied Mechanical Services Inc., a Grand Rapids-based mechanical contracting firm, said promoting the technology used in the construction trades has been key in recruiting men and women to join his company.
The organization that represents Michigan’s 15 public universities hopes the new governor and legislature will raise state financial support for higher education. In repeating its case for more support, the Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU) cites state data showing a greater need in today’s economy for a college education. Of the top 50 high-demand occupations in Michigan, 36 require at least a four-year degree.