Grand Rapids Community College to Open New Automation Center Designed to Train Students for Advanced Manufacturing Jobs

The new program is being built using federal money as part of a nationwide effort to enhance U.S. manufacturing.

Grand Rapids Community College

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters visited Grand Rapids Community College last week.
Grand Rapids Community College's new center for automation will be funded using federal money secured by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten.

Grand Rapids Community College, or GRCC, will soon open a center for automation that will be used to train students pursuing jobs in advanced manufacturing and automation.

The new center, which is slated to be opened by the winter 2023 semester, is being built using $998,000 in federal funds secured by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten in December 2022. The pair made the announcement last week while touring the college's Leslie E. Tassell M-Tec Center. 

The college noted that the center will enhance its career training programs and help bolster Michigan’s manufacturing sector. Students will be trained to be automotive technicians, computer support technicians, construction electricians, machinist/CNC technicians, welding/fabrication technicians, medical assistants, and more, the college said.

Besides teaching those entering the workforce, the center will also be open to individuals already working in the field looking for additional training or credentials.

“The fields of automation and artificial intelligence are evolving and expanding, creating new and exciting careers to meet the needs of today and drive change for the future,” GRCC President Charles Lepper said in a statement.

“GRCC is proud to work with our partners in the government, like Senator Peters, and with employers for an Automation and AI Lab that will help build a talented workforce, give people valuable skills, and strengthen the economy in West Michigan and beyond,” he added.

Peters and Scholten highlight need for advanced manufacturing training

“Grand Rapids Community College excels at preparing students for successful careers and obtaining good-paying, in-demand jobs, and with employers based right here in West Michigan,” Peters said in a statement.  

“I was proud to secure new federal resources to create a new, state-of-the-art, and fully automated training facility that will help elevate GRCC’s skills training programs and support their efforts to cement Michigan’s leadership in advanced manufacturing,” he said.

In a statement, Scholten highlighted the importance of supporting the next generation.

“Investment in education is critical to the future of our country and state,” she said. “Grand Rapids Community College has long led the charge of making quality, world-class education affordable and accessible for West Michiganders – I’m happy to see that tradition continuing on,” she said. 

GRCC Center for Automation Press Conference

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Grand Rapids Community College

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters visited Grand Rapids Community College last week.

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