Stories

Longform One of Cherry Health's dental clinics.

Here's how Michigan providers are improving whole-body health by integrating dental and primary care

The negative effects of poor oral health extend into all elements of patients' lives. But Michigan providers have begun to address that by introducing integrated oral care into their practices.

Development News Oh, Hello Co

DGRI gives seven small businesses a boost

DGRI awarded $250,000 in grants to seven local downtown businesses in December 2019: Mosby’s Popcorn, $45,000; Oh, Hello Co. Paper and Gifts, $21,000; Ambiance GR Kitchen and Lounge, $45,000; Art Caribbean Fusion, $36,000; GR Noir Wine and Jazz, $21,000; and Mel Styles, $10,908. 

Innovation News Promise Zone

“We’re calling it history”: GRCC proud to offer tuition-free education for Grand Rapids students

Starting with the Class of 2020, students who live in the City of Grand Rapids and graduate from one of its eligible high schools can earn a certificate or associate degree at Grand Rapids Community College tuition-free.

Feature Story Michigan Works!

Holland success story shows training and coaching key to better-paying jobs

Karuna Khadka attended workshops, received job-search assistance, referrals to ESL classes, and transportation assistance. That wraparound support paid off. She increased her job skills and wages.

Feature Story Allise Wilkerson Talent Solutions Manager for West Michigan Works

Ottawa County’s workforce shortage puts more attention on training

With an unemployment rate under 3%, Ottawa County has one of the lowest in the state. Allise Wilkerson, talent solutions manager for West Michigan Works!, discusses the opportunities the talent shortage is creating for workers.

Feature Story Nadia Brigham, co-owner of GRNoir Wine and Jazz Bar.

Flavors of 2020: 8 Grand Rapids restaurants for the new year

Grand Rapids has plenty to offer this year in the way of new restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. Particularly this year, GR’s entrepreneurs of color are opening doors to eateries and entertainment venues in the downtown area, showcasing the diverse talent pool in our region.

Feature Story Vaccines

Why it’s not too late to vaccinate at the college level: Emily Stillman’s Story with Meningitis B

Between 2013-2018, seven college campuses experienced recorded outbreaks of Meningitis B, a disease that often results in severe and deadly consequences. Alicia Stillman, who lost her daughter Emily Stillman to MenB, formed the Emily Stillman Foundation, which serves as a global advocate for health and wellness issues, raising awareness of MenB and encouraging organ and tissue donation.

Longform Deidre Hurse, interim executive director of the Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance.

Community health workers provide vital care and peer support for vulnerable Michiganders

Michigan's many CHWs advance integrated care by providing culturally aware peer support, connections to community resources, and care coordination for clients facing chronic illness or other challenges.

Development News egan

One hundred years in business. $100,000 for local charities.

2019 marked Andy J. Egan Co.’s 100th year in business. The mechanical contractor and fabricator serves West Michigan construction managers and builders with engineering, fabrication, mechanical insulation, controls, and 24/7 service. To celebrate the centennial, the company embarked on a year-long $100k Community Giveaway, giving $10,000 to 10 West Michigan nonprofits, one each month from February through November 2019.

Innovation News reading

“I had questions": GRPS parent meetings are helping families navigate Michigan’s Read by Grade 3 Law

Grand Rapids Public Schools Read by Grade Three parent meetings are helping families navigate Michigan's Third Grade Reading Law.

Feature Story Alec Arambula

RapidChat: Alec Arambula encourages you to 'lace up and smell the coffee'

Out of his own personal desire to connect with fellow sneakerheads around town, Alec Arambula organized Kicks & Koffee — which operates as a platform for like-minded individuals to connect over an un-intimidating cup of joe. So whether you drink coffee or not, this young entrepreneur and coffee aficionado is encouraging people of all walks of life to come together, share their stories, and most importantly, 'lace up and smell the coffee.'

Feature Story UptownDistrict

One vision for adding affordable housing to downtown Holland

In the past year, Holland has looked at the future of the city’s waterfront and asked stakeholders and residents to dream about how this natural resource could evolve in the coming decades. Here's one idea for bringing affordable housing downtown.

Feature Story Startup Grind

Startup Grind launches in our city with Bloombright’s Cara Debbaudt

Startup Grind Grand Rapids' mission is to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs via monthly events that feature fireside chats featuring local CEOs, founders, leaders, and influencers. At the launch they welcomed Bloombright's Cara Debbaudt.

Feature Story ScottGeerlings

How collaboration is growing affordable housing in Ottawa County

There is an affordable housing crisis in Ottawa County. Housing Next, created in 2018 to address the county’s affordable housing crisis, has set a goal of adding 7,500 units by 2023. In the past two years, the organization has had a hand in supporting a dozen projects that will add 2,000 new housing units at a range of price points.

Longform Samantha McKenzie at Hidden Harvest.

Michigan wastes massive amounts of food. Here's how it can be rescued to improve people's health.

Food rescue operations in Michigan are doing their best to reclaim good food that would otherwise go to the landfill – and positively affecting public health in the process.

Development News Galactic

Local toy store “The Gathering” place in GR

Locally owned, independent Galactic Toys & Collectibles has two locations: 3120 28th St. SE and 4174 Alpine Ave. NW. The new location, which opened in November of this year in Comstock Park, is a gathering place for customers to play cards and games.

Innovation News art for all

Accessing the arts: Museums for All isn’t just about access, it is also about the experience

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts believes that art should be accessible to everyone living, working, and playing in Grand Rapids; and through its partnership with Museums for All, offers EBT card-carrying visitors access to its galleries year round for just $1.

Feature Story Yvonne Kupfermann

RapidChat: Yvonne Kupfermann on assisting immigrants in finding the right path

Canadian-born Yvonne Kupfermann has always had a personal connection to immigration — with two Hungarian parents and a brother who immigrated to the US from Hungary just a few years ago. Through her roles as an immigration attorney at Varnum and a board member for Justice for Our Neighbors, Kupfermann helps aspiring residents who may not otherwise be able to afford or access critical legal assistance.

Feature Story GROW

How community support strengthens small businesses: Three local business owners share their stories

The holidays are here and the sales never end. Before you start checking off your list, though, three business owners explain how shopping local recirculates back into the community, provides more opportunities for businesses and nearby neighborhoods, and helps promote entrepreneurship.

Feature Story Keith Remelts propietario de FiveW Pets.

Cómo el apoyo comunitario fortalece a las pequeñas empresas: Tres historias locales

Los día feriados están aquí y las ventas nunca terminan. Sin embargo, antes de comenzar a marcar su lista, tres dueños de negocios explican cómo las compras locales vuelven a la comunidad, brindando más oportunidades para las empresas y los vecindarios cercanos y ayudando a promover el espíritu empresarial.

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