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My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Governor Snyder is naming ten more people to a panel in charge of tackling poverty in Michigan.

The Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity is a 12-member commission focused on promoting social and economic opportunities for low-income people.  Those appointed to a one year-term on the commission include Hope College graduate Jacob Maas.  The Grand Rapids native is executive director of the Area Community Services Employment and Training Council. He will represent community action agencies.

My Town: School agreement expected to grow West Michigan's health industry

My Town: School agreement expected to grow West Michigan's health industry

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Two West Michigan schools are teaming up to help grow West Michigan’s health industry.

Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport University have signed a deal to allow students who finish the medical assistant program at GRCC to transfer to Davenport for a health degree.  As part of the seamless transfer process, students must also pass a certification exam of American Medical Technologists or the American Association of Medical Assistants.

Davenport University President Dr. Richard Pappas says the transfer agreement will help grow the area’s skilled health workforce, in addition to benefiting students.

Davenport offers associates degrees in medical assisting and bachelor’s degrees in a variety of health areas, including medical case management, health services administration and nursing. 

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Human Services is teaming up with Grand Valley State University to measure the success of a family support program in more than 150 Michigan schools.

A three-year, $1.05 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will go toward measuring the impact of the Pathways to Potential program in Michigan.  The program places DHS case workers in schools to make it easier for children and their families to address barriers to their safety, health, education, attendance and self-sufficiency.

“We know that many children struggle in school because of outside of school challenges affecting both students and their families,” Gov. Snyder said. “The goal of Pathways to Potential is to reduce or eliminate those challenges by conveniently connecting families to the services they need to help everyone become more successful.”

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

My Town: Top five movies playing at Celebration Cinema this weekend

My Town: Top five movies playing at Celebration Cinema this weekend

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Summer is still in full swing, and new movies are premiering every weekend.

Celebration Cinema has a few good movies this weekend that you won't want to miss. Here are my top five for this weekend:

1.) A Most Wanted Man (Rated R) - Premiers this Friday at Celebration North. This movie is about a brutally tortured immigrant who turns up in Hamburg's Islamic community, laying claim to his father's ill gotten fortune. Both German and U.S. security agencies take a close interest. As the clock ticks down and the stakes rise, the race is on to establish this most wanted man's true identity.

2.) And So It Goes (Rated PG-13) - Premieres this Friday at all Celebration locations. This movie is about a self-centered realtor who enlists the help of his neighbor when he's suddenly left in charge of the granddaughter he never knew existed until his estranged son drops her off at his home.

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—More than three dozen organizations and agencies helping people get back on their feet are getting millions of dollars in support.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way awarded $3.3 million in grants to 39 agencies that reach out to the community-from offering home-delivered meals to senior to after school care.

 “We value our partnership and believe a community that takes care of its friends and neighbors is a good place to live. By investing in the basic needs of the community, we are working together to help the people that are the most in need,” says Maureen Noe, president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.  “If people have their basic needs met, such as food, shelter and a safe home situation, they are able to focus on the future and take the next steps to improving their lives. “

This year’s grant recipients are: 

EmploymentGroup names winners of 5 in 5 scholarships

EmploymentGroup names winners of 5 in 5 scholarships

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- EmploymentGroup, a solutions-oriented staffing and outsourced services firm, has announced the winners of its 5 in 5 scholarship program. 

Launched in 2013, the program is a five-year initiative in honor of the company’s 55th anniversary as a leading regional provider of business staffing solutions. EmploymentGroup started the program to give Michigan-based community college students the skills and resources they need to succeed.

As part of the 5 in 5 program, each year three students are awarded scholarships totaling $5,000.  This year, students were encouraged to tie their essay submissions to EmploymentGroup’s mission of helping people succeed, explaining how their future plans include both their own professional growth and helping others excel.