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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.

My Town: Construction company donates talents to West Michigan's homeless

My Town: Construction company donates talents to West Michigan's homeless

WALKER, Mich.--  The sale of a new home in Walker is helping West Michigan’s homeless.

After handing over the keys to the new owners of 4588 Gordonshire NW, Ver Woert  Construction handed over a $35,500 check to Degage Ministries.   The company built the home with the intention of donating the proceeds to the charity.  Owner Ken Ver Woert came up with the idea after listening to a sermon at his church about using his gifts and talents for God’s glory.

“My firm has enjoyed building this home, knowing our hard work would be benefiting others in need,” said Ver Woert. “We are also grateful for the kind hearts of our subcontractors who pledged to join us in this mission, raising the amount we were able to provide Degage Ministries.”

PREVIOUS STORY: New home’s sale to help West Michigan’s homeless

My Town: Local restaurants named winners of wine

My Town: Local restaurants named winners of wine

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—At least half a dozen restaurants in West Michigan have made the cut for the corks they pop.

They are among 3,748 restaurants worldwide to make Wine Spectator’s 2014 Restaurant Wine List Awards.  For the first time this year, top honors went to Clos Maggiore in London, La Toque in Napa, Nice Matin in New York, Saison in San Francisco, The Stonehouse in Santa Barbara and Studio in Laguna Beach.  They join 68 other winners of the Grand Award, which honors restaurants that generally offer guests 1,500 or more wine selections and for superior cellars, service, ambiance and cuisine.

The program’s entry-level Award of Excellence went to 2,791 restaurants; another 883 restaurants earned the Best of Award of Excellence for typically offering a list of 350 or more quality wine selections.  Locally, the following restaurants made the cut:

My Town: Meijer sponsors program for booming prescription drug industry

My Town: Meijer sponsors program for booming prescription drug industry

WALKER, Mich.— Meijer is sponsoring a program to help meet the need of the growing prescription drug industry.

The Walker-based retailer is teaming up with the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology to train the under and unemployed to become pharmacy technicians. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of pharmacy technicians needed is expected to increase 20 percent by 2022.  Meijer also anticipates higher demand because of national health care and an aging patient population that relies on more prescriptions.

My Town: Consumers Energy backs solar projects for local businesses

My Town: Consumers Energy backs solar projects for local businesses

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—What does a Kalamazoo area school, Ottawa County hops producer and the West Michigan Sports Commission have in common?

All three are teaming up with Consumers Energy to produce solar power.

Consumers has selected 22 projects to back, including  five non-residential programs at Paragon Die & Engineering in Kentwood, Monsignor Hackett High School in Kalamazoo Township, Pure Mitten Hops in Ottawa County, the West Michigan Sports Commission in Grand Rapids and Bonobo Winery in Grand Traverse County.

In addition, Consumers is backing 17 solar projects for residential customers, including those in Kent and Ottawa counties.  The customers were chosen as part of Consumers’ Experimental Advanced Renewable Program.   Consumers will soon be accepting applications for the next phase of EARP.  The deadly to apply is 5 p.m. Aug. 6.

My Town: Job outlook for the area largely positive

My Town: Job outlook for the area largely positive

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Despite the harsh winter, businesses in West Michigan added 9,500 jobs during the first quarter of 2014.

That’s according to a newly released report by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Analysts found employment in West Michigan’s six metropolitan areas jumped 1.1 percent.    The biggest increases were reported in manufacturing and private service sectors.   

In the Grand Rapids-Wyoming area, employers added 7,200 jobs in the first quarter, driving down the area’s unemployment rate to 5.8 percent.   Analysts say there was solid growth across all sectors, and they expect the job market to remain strong in the coming months.

My Town: Local First offers family-friendly Local Treasure Hunts this June

My Town: Local First offers family-friendly Local Treasure Hunts this June

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Local First has put together Local Treasure Hunts for families to do this June.

Participants can choose from two hunts: one in Grand Rapids and one on the lakeshore. Hunters can enter to win prizes in each hunt by texting in codes at each location. The hunts started on June 1 and will conclude at 11:59 on June 30.

In Grand Rapids, participating businesses include:

  • Grand Rapids Children's Museum
  • Grand Rapids Bicycle Company
  • The Cheese Lady
  • Fulton Street Farmers Market
  • Hop Scotch Children's Store
  • Nantucket Baking Company
  • Romence Gardens & Greenhouses
  • Schuler Books
  • The Rapid Central Station
  • GoNuts

On the lakeshore, the following businesses are treasure hunt stops: