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West Michigan Business Stories from ClarkComm

Michigan Business Network
May 4, 2022 10:00 AM

clark commHere's a digest of current business news and topics from Western Michigan: Grand Rapids Public Schools –  Davenport University and GRPS sign agreement to offer new innovative scholarship program to address teacher shortage

Davenport University and Grand Rapids Public Schools just signed an agreement that will create 75 new scholarships toward urban STEM education degrees for current students, staff and parents within the school district. Grand Rapids Public Schools is the first school system to take advantage of this new program, which Davenport is offering to school districts statewide. More information can be found here.


Disability Advocates of Kent County – Disability services provider set to open region’s first accessibility showroom and new headquarters

At 5pm on Thursday, May 12, Disability Advocates of Kent County will celebrate the opening of its new Accessibility Center showroom and relocated headquarters at the new Special Olympics of Michigan building on 68th Street in Cutlerville. The organization will co-host an open house with Thresholds, who is also relocating to the SOMI space. Leaders of both organizations are available for interviews and tours of their new space.


Grand Rapids Public Schools –  GRPS celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Week with $20,000 in free school supplies

In celebration of this week being National Teacher Appreciation Week, the GRPS Foundation is supporting its teachers by providing $20,000 worth of free teaching supplies. They are doing this through a partnership with The StoreHouse, 4411 Plainfield Drive. Teachers will have the opportunity to gather $50 worth of supplies for their classrooms at no cost to them. Photos of some supplies are attached. Interviews with Foundation leaders and teachers can be made available.

Start Garden – Michigan's largest biz pitch competition opens registration

Start Garden’s open contest for business startups, The 100, is back for a fourth season. Everyone with a business idea or businesses seeking to explore a new opportunity are invited. The event is believed to be the largest business competition in the state with 100 potential recipients drawing from $300,000 in funds. Registration opens May 3 at https://100.startgarden.com/. The winners will be announced at Start Garden’s Demo Day event, Wednesday, September 21.


Grand Rapids Public Schools –  GRPS Presents 2022 Citywide Art Show

Artwork from all Grand Rapids Public Schools will be on display at the Western Michigan Conference Center from April 27 – May 6, 2022. The artwork was made by students in kindergarten through 12th grade and selected by their teachers. This event is free and open to the public.


Adventure Point – 35-acre Boy Scouts of America affiliated camp opens up to non-Scouts for outdoor adventure summer day camps

A 35-acre outdoor adventure center in Walker owned and operated by the Boy Scouts of America is hosting several weeklong day camps this summer. The center, which is open to non-Scouts children, is hoping a successful summer season will help make up for so many canceled events that have occurred the past two years. More information available here. Camp officials are available for interviews by contacting me.

Disability Advocates of Kent County - Disability nonprofit receives $975k grant to help rural senior homeowners with accessibility modifications

Disability Advocates of Kent County has received a $975,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that will enable the organization to make safety and functional home modifications and limited repairs to meet the needs of low-income senior homeowners that allow them to age in place. The three-year grant will help 150 seniors in Allegan, Ionia, Mecosta, Montcalm, and Osceola counties. Disability Advocates was the only organization in Michigan out of 32 nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, and public housing authorities nationwide to receive an award from HUD’s $30 million “Older Adults Home Modification Program”. The national goal is to deliver home modification services to more than 5,000 qualified beneficiaries in primarily rural areas.

Grand Rapids Art Museum – Outgoing CEO to be honored for decade of leadership at gala event

Dana Friis-Hansen, Grand Rapids Art Museum Director and CEO and his husband Mark Holzbach have been announced as the honorees of the museum’s annual Live Artfully event that recognizes a community figure that made an impact on the arts scene. Dana announced recently that he is stepping away from his leadership role at the end of 2022, marking over a decade of service at the Museum. Friis-Hansen took the helm of the Museum during a pivotal time in its over 100-year history, just three years after the opening of its new building at 101 Monroe Center. Friis-Hansen and museum leaders are available for comment.


Cruise the Great Lakes – Michigan ports of call join effort to promote environmentally friendly cruising on Great Lakes

The convention and visitors bureaus of Detroit, Holland and Muskegon, along with the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce, Detroit Port Authority and Pure Michigan have joined an international coalition’s pledge to promote and practice environmentally friendly cruising practices starting in 2022. The popular Michigan-based ports for cruise ships are part of Cruise the Great Lakes’ sustainability pledge that highlights 19 areas that members and cruise lines commit to implementing starting this year. Coalition officials are available for comment. 

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