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Workforce development granted to Michigan Works!

The state has awarded nearly one million dollars to Michigan Works! West Central to help employers with workforce development. The money was made available through the Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF). “While the state did increase the amount of money awarded this year, we also tripled the number of applications we filed compared to last year,” said Michigan Works Executive Director Paul Griffith.

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Business Services Director Merri Bennett worked with companies in Lake, Mason and Oceana counties who filed applications. In those counties, 15 companies received more than $473,000 in grants through West Central, to train 389 employees including,

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Ward promoted to President

Scott Ward has been voted in as the fifth President of West Shore Community College. The board voted unanimously to install Mr. Ward as president immediately. Ward served as acting/interim president from September 2014 to July 2015, following the retirement of former president Charles Dillon and again as interim president, since June 2017, following the resignation of Dr. Kenneth Urban.Trustees spoke highly of Mr. Ward during the discussion, Chairman Smith saying that Ward has not only has the credentials to lead but due to service as Interim President twice, had earned the position. Trustee Ennis highlighted the importance of understanding the community the college serves and pointed towards work  Mr. Ward has already done to raise money and with the Community.

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“It is a great honor and privilege to be asked to serve in this new role.” stated Ward. “In 2009, President Dillon asked me was whether I believed that the West Shore Community College vision of becoming one of America’s premier community colleges was attainable. After eight years of working with our students, faculty, staff, the board of trustees and our amazingly supportive community, I believe even more strongly the answer is ‘yes.’ I look forward to working collaboratively with all groups to advance the WSCC vision.” Contract details will be brought to the next trustee meeting for review.

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Mason County seeks promise

A group of individuals are researching the idea of a promise type scholarship to include all of Mason County’s school systems.  The Upjohn Institute has continual done research and followed the results of Kalamazoo Promise.  Data shows that the promise increased college Enrollment and Graduation rates for area students, significantly impacted the culture and the economy of their community and provided an Increase in property wealth and the local population: leading to increase of permanent jobs. The Kalamazoo Promise has been around has been around for about 12 years.  Some of the Promise grads are now teaching in the Kalamazoo Public School District.Additional data about the Kalamazoo Promise will be shared during the meeting.

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The Mason County Promise would be open to all students who graduate from any accredited Mason County School or have a GED, are residing in Mason County, and have been students four years or more in an accredited Mason County School District. This scholarship program would provide up to two (2) years of tuition to West Shore Community College and mandatory fees for post-secondary education (per graduated scale.). The one caveat to the Mason County Promise is funding.  They would like sustainable funding, are looking for ideas, and asking the public for assistance. The Mason County Promise meeting will occur  Monday, November 27 at 2 pm and 5:30pm at the  Ludington Area Center for the Arts.

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