Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids - Adam Bird
If Grand Rapids increased its college attainment rate from 25.9 to 26.9 percent -- that's just 4,924 additional graduates -- the region would capture a $559 million Talent Dividend.

Leading the effort is Talent 2025, which seeks to create one of the nation's most workforce-ready regions in West Michigan. They've assembled a robust coalition of 50 CEOs, as well as Michigan Works! Agencies, foundations, higher ed institutions, and community organizations in 13 counties. Talent 2025 partners have also convened the region's College Access Networks, who are coordinating with the region's higher education institutions and K-12 school systems. CANs in the Grand Rapids region have also collaborated on the website and an accompanying Facebook ad campaign. 

Long-term talent development efforts are focused on early education and the K-12 pipeline; mid- and near-term efforts include career readiness, promoting internship programs, and employer partnerships that allow adults to finish their education while working full-time. 

Grand Rapids, MI Features

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How do you get the business community involved with your city's educational attainment efforts? Get beyond bringing them to the table. We spoke to three cities that have some advice.

What's working in college access?

As efforts to improve college access expand to improve college success, too, we look at what's working in Michigan and San Antonio, and where we hope to be as a nation in the next ten years. 
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