DDA OKs jobs training, retail support measures

Grand Rapids

A view of downtown Grand Rapids, including the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, on Oct. 13, 2021.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two moves aimed at supporting the growth of Grand Rapids got the green light from the Downtown Development Authority Wednesday.

DDA members approved allocating $48,500 in designated funding to Grand Rapids Community College for its workforce training program. The money will go toward training community members to fill construction and public works jobs created by revitalizing the Grand River corridor.

The funding comes from a 3-year, $195,000 grant awarded by Building Bridges Across the River to the city. The pilot project’s aim is to test new methods for connecting locals to training and job opportunities created by the city’s yearslong endeavor in restoring the rapids and building the Grand River greenway.

The DDA also approved up to $50,000 to keep Grand Rapids’ retail retention and attraction initiative running through November 2022. The city commission approved its share of the project’s estimated $137,617 total cost Tuesday. Retail Recruitment and Attraction Specialist Richard App is expected to continue his work reaching out to new and existing businesses downtown, providing updates and resources to support their success.

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