Talent

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.

A decade ago, Davenport University retained just 60 percent of students from one fall to the next.

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. 

GRAND RAPIDS — For much of her career, Jacey Ehmann was the only woman in the room. 

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.

Students who attend high school in Grand Rapids will soon be able to continue their education for free at Grand Rapids Community College.

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.

Michigan ranked 20th in the nation 19 years ago in per-resident state funding for higher education.

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.

Just like you can’t go to work drunk, you cannot go to work stoned.

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.

Directors today named James McGrath as the new president and dean at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.

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.

Recent research has indicated the so-called skills gap of the past decade may have been associated more with expectations of employers than the qualifications of the workforce. Millions of jobs were lost in the U.S. during the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, and for years after the economic decline officially yielded, high unemployment rates persisted. Even with large pools of job seekers, employers reported difficulty in finding candidates with acceptable skills, credentialing or postsecondary education. Many experts dubbed the phenomenon a “skills gap.”

Marketing Grand Rapids as a place for young people to live and work is becoming increasingly important to the local economy.

KALAMAZOO — Western Michigan University plans to launch an online program designed to improve the ability of I.T. professionals to protect against and mitigate hacks and data breaches. The eight-week, online certification program from WMU’s Haworth College of Business and College of Engineering and Applied Sciences starts in March and consists of four courses in high-demand cybersecurity specialties.

Culture trumps salary in the race for talent nowadays. That’s the shift Dave Smith has seen the last few years among employers in West Michigan as unemployment rates steadily declined and the labor market tightened.

BIG RAPIDS — Ferris State University extended a fundraising campaign by three years and increased the amount it hopes to secure from donors.

The West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT) has been named the state’s fifth “Cyber Range Hub,” an initiative aimed at bolstering the Michigan’s cybersecurity defenses.

GRAND RAPIDS — Like many West Michigan-based manufacturers, Wolverine Coil Spring Co. has adopted an all-hands-on-deck approach to counter industry stereotypes and address talent-attraction challenges. 

Michigan’s beleaguered K-12 public education system continues to take a beating from the state’s business groups.

As Millennials graduate from college and consider advanced degrees, West Michigan universities realize they need to integrate technology into course delivery and cater to a generation that grew up in the digital age.

Today’s up-and-coming digital generation still sees the value of a degree-based management education, but a growing number prefer self-directed learning and just-in-time courses instead of established MBA programs, according to a new study.