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West Michigan Construction institute opens

A new $3.5 million construction trade school recently opened in Grand Rapids.

The West Michigan Construction Institute (WMCI), at 801 Century Ave. SW in Grand Rapids, opened its doors to high school students earlier this month.

The 14,000-square-foot building includes seven classrooms, three construction labs and office space. The Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter (ABC/WMC) also is a tenant in the building.

Jen Schottke, president of WMCI, said ABC/WMC purchased the property, which previously was a construction warehouse and storage facility, from Owens-Ames-Kimball, a local construction management firm.

Construction on the building began in mid-July and ended on Dec. 21. Dan Vos Construction served as the general contractor.

Programs include construction core, carpentry, electrical, interior finishes and plumbing, as well as certifications or professional development in additional specialties such as becoming a Building Industry Consulting Services International (BICSI) certified technician or copper installer. The length of each program ranges from weeklong certification trainings to multiyear apprenticeship and craft training programs.

According to an earlier Business Journal report, the West Michigan construction industry is projected to grow almost 16% over the next 10 years, while at the same time, nearly 48% of today’s construction workforce is expected to retire within the next 15 years.

The decline in skilled labor has resulted in West Michigan companies losing projects to understaffing and severely increased construction costs.

The institute is designed to be a hub for talent recruitment, development and placement for the West Michigan commercial construction industry.


Posted By: The Grand Rapids Business Journal on January 27, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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