West Michigan is a great place to explore and grow a career

Two students working on building house foundation

Our area tech centers, local school districts, and the business community are helping students prepare for the future. Certificate programs, career exploration and college readiness initiatives offer students opportunities to find their spark.

The Job Outlook is Good

Over the first half of 2021, an average of 49,000 jobs were posted online per month across West Michigan – more openings than qualified people to fill them!

“Stacking” Experience

Many successful careers get started with a single credential, like a certificate, apprenticeship or some college credits. After some work experience, those can then be “stacked” with additional training, certificates, college courses or a degree to help an individual advance in a career or move to a different one.

West Michigan is Home to:

More than 200 accredited
certificate
programs
More than 12 colleges and
universities
Over10 trade schools
geared toward
specific
occupations
9tech centers
at area
intermediate
school
districts
100sof K-12 schools
(public, private
& parochial)

In Demand

Here’s a sampling of some of the most in-demand occupations in our area through 2028:

Occupations% Growth# New Jobs Created
Healthcare Practitioners & Technicians7.0%3,140
Transportation & Warehousing4.3%2,790
Healthcare Support13.2%2,700
Management Fields4,4%1,850
Maintenance & Repair4.6%1,450
Construction Fields6.6%1,940
Business & Finance3.6%1,240
Education & Training4.6%540
Architecture & Engineering5.8%1,040

1Economic Modeling Specialists International, 2019.4 (ESMI)

Photo of Davie Torres from Kent

REAL Stories

As a child, I was constantly doodling. Through Kent Career Tech Center’s graphics program, I recognized my passion for graphic design and screen printing. I was hired by Studio Ink, a print shop in Grand Rapids, within a week of graduating high school. I am now co-owner of Citizenshirt—a full-blown screen printing and design company with 13 employees. My business partner and I are currently refurbishing a 20,000-square-foot facility in Southwest Grand Rapids. We hope to create the most unique screen printing and design company in the region.

Davie Torres, Rockford Native