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Foundation grant to help youth prepare for STEM careers

• Apr 17, 2017 at 12:00 AM

The Board of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation recently announced 10 first-quarter grant awards totaling $447,250 to support the northern Ottawa County community.

The grants include $75,000 to Muskegon Community College for its Downtown Technology Center, an educational center that aims to better prepare local youth for careers in the S.T.E.M. industries.

Northwest Ottawa County relies heavily on local manufacturing — particularly robotics, plastic injection molding and 3-D printing — and our local businesses need skilled trade workers to compete in the global market. The Downtown Technology Center will have labs and classrooms in the old Muskegon Chronicle building in downtown Muskegon. The adjacent Masonic Temple Building will house a Makerspace Lab for community members to explore technologies and a Youth Entrepreneurial Space for youth study.

“Muskegon Community College is thankful to the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation for their generous support of our Downtown Center,” said MCC President Dale K. Nesbary. “We have been providing higher education to (area) students for decades, both in Ottawa County and on our main campus. With the opening later this year of our state-of-the-art technology and entrepreneurial facilities located inside our Downtown Center, MCC envisions its graduates helping to build an even stronger economy across West Michigan in the years ahead.”

The MCC Downtown Center will offer programs and certifications in alternative energy, computer-aided design (CAD), electricity, electronics, engineering, foundry, plastic injection molding, robotics and more.

Other grants awarded:

• Ottawa Area Intermediate School District: $15,000 for Help Me Grow–Ottawa, a program that works to connect families with resources that ensure children are entering school ready to succeed.

• City of Grand Haven: $100,000 to support the Save the Catwalk Campaign.

• Bethany Christian Services: $22,500 for its Trauma Education Program, which provides trauma education to students, teachers/staff and parents to help children feel safe in the learning environment.

• Center for Women in Transition: $60,000 for its Coaching Boys into Men Program and other capital projects. This is a joint grant with the Youth Advisory Council.

• The Salvation Army: $125,000 for A Campaign for Area Families & Children, which will be used to expand existing facilities to add and improve programming and community events.

• St. Patrick/St. Anthony Parish: $30,000 for the portion of the Building/Renovation Project that includes food pantry rooms, the Job Seekers program and GED/ESL Learning Lab.

Grants awarded by the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council (YAC):

• Camp Casey: $7,000 for Horsey House Calls to provide an afternoon of horse-assisted therapy, craft projects and lunch to five Tri-Cities children living with cancer, sickle cell disease or aplastic anemia, along with up to 30 friends and family members.

• Grand Haven Area Public Schools: $5,000 to fund a design/video course that teach students digital design, video/audio editing and drone safety.

• Grand Haven Aviation Association: $4,000 for Aviation Career Education Camp, which exposes community youth to aviation careers, safety and aerodynamic principles.

• Ottawa County Department of Public Health: $3,750 to the Grand Haven Meet Up and Eat Up for a site coordinator for the River Haven community and Loutit District Library.

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation is a public, charitable organization serving the Tri-Cities community since 1971. It encourages philanthropy by individuals, families, companies and organizations, and serves as a steward of their charitable funds and legacies. For more information, or to give a tax-deductible gift to the Greatest Needs Fund at the foundation, visit ghacf.org.

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