GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The next session of Grand Rapids Community College’s Public Works Academy, which helps people get jobs working for local municipalities, starts up Jan. 25.

The Public Works Academy at GRCC, created in 2018, provides a path from training straight to a job. It trains people to fill jobs like building specialist, engineering technician, equipment operator, fleet services technician, maintenance worker for utilities, streets, grounds and buildings, plant assistant, safety specialist and tree trimmer.

Public Works Director for Grand Rapids John Gorney said many municipalities are seeing more retirements, so they need more workers.

“Municipalities across the country have been challenged in recent years to attract qualified individuals for entry-level public works positions,” Gorney said. “We hope to continue growing the program and attracting more people to the noble profession of Public Works.”

About 60 people have graduated from the academy so far, with almost 50 of them getting some type of position in the field.

The academy runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays from Jan. 25 to March 16. The program is open to people ages 18 and older who are ready to work. A high school diploma or GED diploma is recommended. A valid driver’s license is required.

Graduates of the program will have interviews with at least two West Michigan organizations for possible seasonal or internship positions. Among the organizations involved are public works departments from Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Grand Haven as well as road commissions from Kent and Muskegon counties, the Michigan Department of Transportation and engineering firm Fleis & VandenBrink.

For more information on the Public Works Academy, visit grcc.edu/PublicWorks.