Posted in News on August 29, 2022


Three Area Training Providers Receive $130k in Grant Funding

08/26/2022 // ZEELAND, MICH – Lakeshore Advantage, in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), awarded $130,150 to three training providers in Allegan and Ottawa counties through the Michigan Workforce Training Center Equipment (TEC) Grant Program. The grants were awarded to Allegan County Area Technical Education Center, Grand Rapids Community College – Lakeshore Campus and Thompson M-TEC/Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD). The equipment will help improve or expand area training programs for health care and automation.  
“Our training providers are educational catalysts for the ongoing development of our local workforce,” said Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage President.  “As lakeshore companies continue to grow and expand, the need for a trained workforce becomes more pressing. The Michigan Workforce TEC Grant Program helps ensure our training providers have the appropriate equipment to help workers and students achieve the credentials and skills needed to be successful in today’s marketplace.”
Among the three training providers awarded funds is Allegan County Area Technical Education Center (ACATEC) which offers 19 technical training programs as well as vocational training opportunities for students with special needs. ACATEC, located in Allegan, was awarded $30,400 by Lakeshore Advantage to be used to cover the cost of training equipment for students working to earn Patient Care Tech and EKG certifications. 
“I am very grateful to Lakeshore Advantage for their advocacy and support of the value of the education we provide at the Allegan Tech Center. The tremendous gift of money will allow our students to enhance their learning to obtain an industry-recognized credential,” said Rich Okoniewski, Allegan County Area Technical and Education Center Director and Principal. 
Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) – Lakeshore Campus was awarded $49,875 which will be used to purchase equipment that will allow for advanced automation training for the local workforce. These funds will also provide certification opportunities under Smart Automation Certificate Alliance (SACA) and FANUC certifications. This equipment will be housed at GRCC Lakeshore campus in Holland Charter Township. 
"GRCC values our collaboration with Lakeshore Advantage, Holland area employers and the MEDC to give local residents the ability to gain skills they need for today and for the future,” said Julie Parks, Grand Rapids Community College’s Executive Director of Workforce Training. “Industry 4.0 adoption is strong in this region, and this additional equipment is another piece that allows GRCC to make sure the workforce is ready to produce products that make Michigan a manufacturing leader.”
Thompson M-TEC/Ottawa Area ISD was also awarded $49,875 which will be used to purchase equipment to train on a FANUC/Miller ARC Robotic Weld Cell and offer FANUC specific certifications in robotic welding processes.  This equipment will be housed at the M-TEC center located in West Olive. 
“We are honored to receive this grant from Lakeshore Advantage and excited to add two FANUC/Miller Robotic Weld Cells and further expand our Industry 4.0 training options for businesses and students in Ottawa County and beyond,” said Tonia Castillo, Director of Adult Training and Career Services for Thompson M-TEC. 
This funding awarded was part of a $3 million statewide funding program for the Michigan Workforce TEC Grant Program to support the needs of qualified training providers that provide workforce training for qualified employers and individuals in Michigan.  Lakeshore Advantage was one of several area economic development organizations that administered the program on behalf of the state. 
More information on the Michigan Workforce Training Center Equipment Grant Program can be found at: