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Local News

"This program is not just a promise, it's a success"... Travis Alden, Barry County Chamber of Commerce

The Kellogg Advanced Manufacturing Assembly Program is a success, said Mike Schneiderhan, coordinator at the Barry County Economic Development Alliance. He brought along two successful students to the Barry County of Commission meeting to tell about it. Schneiderhan said 50 percent of students do not want to go on to college. This program centers on industry and manufacturing, providing jobs for citizens and good employees for businesses, he said.

 

This is the first time they have had duel enrollment with students from Thornapple Kellogg, Delton and Barry County Christian School, Schneiderhan said, and of the 16 who enrolled, 15 completed the course. He listed a dozen businesses that are part of the program.

 

During interview day with local manufacturers, all the students had job offers, some multiple offers. A job in Barry County industry will lead to more schooling and higher income, and give back to the community, he said. Eleven of the 15 are now working.

One went into the military, one went into auto body work and two are just 17 and aren’t able to work yet, Schneiderhan said.

 

Jacob Christensen, from Thornapple Kellogg, said, “I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I learned so much overall about the scope of being a good employee. I was offered multiple jobs; I had to turn some down. I applied at Hastings Fiberglass, I interviewed, and it went well.

“The head of Human Resources wanted me to work four days a week, 10 hours a day at $15.40 an hour and benefits…I wouldn’t have done anything without the program.”

 

Chase Fitzpatrick, also from TK, said he was headed the wrong way. In Alternative Education, he didn’t like school and didn’t like being there. He went into the program not knowing what to expect.

 

“I found the knowledge they gave me and how to apply those skills. Math, reading and being a good overall person in the workplace. I got to interview...talking to employers, getting details. Without that, it would have limited my options. It’s important stuff. It did a lot for me…I was not doing well in school, getting into trouble…that all went away when I learned what I could do.”

 

Both young men recommend the program and talked about it to any interested students. Lots more kids would join if the students heard about it, Fitzpatrick said.

Travis Alden, director of the Barry County Chamber of Commerce thinks all school classes should hear about the program.

“This is not just a promise; it is a success; all the students wanted to spread the word,” he said. Alden said he is proud of the program and appreciates the support from the Barry County Board of Commissioners.//


In other business Tuesday, the commissioners approved:

 

*Dan Parker as officer delegate and Vivian Conner as officer alternate to the Municipal Employees Retirement System (MERS) annual meeting and Karen Barnes as employee delegate and Aaron Stains as employee alternate to the MERS event on Oct. 4-5 in Grand Rapids.

 

*the 2018-2019 implementation plan for Region 3B Area Agency on Aging.

 

*spending $9,840 a Tridium-based graphics-driven Building Management System at the Barry Eaton District Health Department.

 

*the 2018-2019 Child Care Fund plan and budget.

 

*an amendment to the City of Hastings Barry County Airport, requested by the Airport Commission.

 

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