Stories

Development News WMSC

West Michigan Sports Commission’s on the go, on the grow

In January 2020, the West Michigan Sports Commission moved into new offices at 300 Ottawa Ave. NW and hired a new national sales manager, Alyssa Updegrave.


Innovation News IN January

New MI law protects licensed professional counselors’ ability to diagnose and treat mental disorders

Effective January 27, it will be legal for licensed professional counselors to diagnose and treat mental disorders. 

Feature Story ElizabethKidd

Assessment gives first report on health of Ottawa County nonprofits

The first-of-its-kind assessment of Ottawa County organizations was undertaken by the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance. The data gathered covers a range of issues, from finance to diversity and inclusion efforts. 

Feature Story PatrickCisler

Ottawa County nonprofits flock to board leadership training

“How to be an effective board member” workshops teach new board members best practices of providing leadership for a nonprofit, from governance to fundraising. More than 700 people in Ottawa County have taken part in some kind of board training offered by the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance.

Feature Story Greg Nowak

UIX: Medical innovation is a group effort in West Michigan

The journey that medical products take from ideation to launch has been extended over the years by federal standards and regulations, but the basic outline remains the same: help people by making their lives easier, and call in whoever you need to make that happen.

Feature Story LGBT liason

Equity in action: The Municipal Equality Index serves as a framework for LGBTQ+ community connectors

The Municipal Equality Index is the only nationwide assessment of LGBTQ+ inclusion in municipal law, policy, and services. In 2019, Grand Rapids was recognized as one of the most improved cities, scoring 92, a 16-point increase from 2018.


Feature Story Brianne Hubbard-Ross

G-Sync: Creston Brewery showcases how a neighborhood business can be a catalyst for community

On Thursday, January 9, Rapid Growth's Publisher Tommy Allen welcomed to the WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin, Creston Brewery’s Taproom and Sales Manager Brianne Hubbard-Ross who shares how a community can flourish within a neighborhood business.

Feature Story Scholarship

How a Westside scholarship program is changing the way local students view life after high school

Challenge Scholars offers an early scholarship promise so students at Harrison Park, Westwood Middle School, and Union High School and their families know, beginning in at least 6th grade, that a scholarship for college and career training after high school may be available to them.

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.

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