High-Paying Trade Jobs Sit Empty, While High School Grads Line Up For University

May 3, 2018 in In The News

NOTE:   This article focuses on skilled trades which are the type of jobs needed within the food processing industry in addition to employees needed to process food products.    The West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative is working with Michigan State University, Muskegon Community College, and others to provide workforce training for all food processing related jobs.  

Heard on NPR All Things Considered


Like most other American high school students, Garret Morgan had it drummed into him constantly: Go to college. Get a bachelor’s degree.

“All through my life it was, ‘if you don’t go to college you’re going to end up on the streets,’ ” Morgan said. “Everybody’s so gung-ho about going to college.”

So he tried it for a while. Then he quit and started training as an ironworker, which is what he is doing on a weekday morning in a nondescript high-ceilinged building with a concrete floor in an industrial park near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

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Center of excellence coming to the Finger Lakes

April 30, 2018 in In The News

State Sen. Pam Helming, R-54th District, recently secured $1 million in funding to establish the Center of Excellence in Food and Agriculture Innovation at New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.

Centers of excellence develop and commercialize new products and technologies, promote private sector investment in high-tech fields, strengthen and grow workforce training and expand technology-related businesses and employment.

Food production jobs in the Finger Lakes increased 20 percent since 2010. The center’s goal is to promote economic growth throughout the region and state by making connections among researchers, farmers, processors, businesses and consumers.

Funding will provide entrepreneurship training, business mentorship and access to business space at Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park in Geneva. Participants will connect with commercial kitchens, food hubs and co-packing facilities. The center will foster collaboration and technical product commercialization assistance between Cornell research scientists and businesses to promote the use of technologies that define future farm and food systems.

Article is from the Daily Messenger   



Frozen food is no longer just the sad refuge of dieters with office jobs

April 15, 2018 in In The News

Americans are warming up to frozen foods.

Consumers are eating more vegetables and protein, and their reservations about eating frozen foods — long dubbed an unsatisfying diet option or loaded with artificial ingredients — are starting to thaw. Meanwhile, frozen food companies are revamping their products to include more healthful, flavorful options. And while dishes like Mango Edamame Power Bowls or Sweet and Spicy Harissa Meatballs add an inventiveness to the freezer aisle, one of frozen foods’ chief attractions has stayed rock solid: convenience.

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Canadian dairy processor will create 62 jobs, invest $21.3M in West Michigan

April 12, 2018 in In The News

Agropur Inc. announced it will invest $21.3 million and create 62 news jobs over the next three years at its processing plant in suburban Grand Rapids.

Most of the $21.3 million expansion project at Agropur’s at 5252 Clay Avenue SW will be for new equipment with a portion going toward building modifications, according to news releases by The Right Plac Inc and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC).

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Table set for food initiative

November 24, 2017 in In The News

Plan aims to connect region’s natural resources, education and infrastructure assets to grow agriculture exports by 2020.

An ambitious plan is taking shape on the lakeshore to grow the region’s labor pool and expand product development and agriculture exports.

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Muskegon launches $232K food processing initiative

October 30, 2017 in In The News

A new food processing initiative was launching in Muskegon on Monday.

A new food processing initiative was launched in Muskegon and the goal is to expand the agriculture economy on the lakeshore.

The West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative is the result of a $232,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

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