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New GVSU partnership sees immigration as solution West Michigan’s workforce needs

Grand Valley State University arch photo

In an effort to help boost West Michigan’s workforce, Grand Valley State University recently joined a new partnership that aims to attract and retain international talent.

GVSU announced the partnership with the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and Global Detroit, last week.

Through the partnership, the university will roll out two new programs. This includes the Global Talent Retention Initiative, which helps international students explore career pathways where talent is most needed locally.

The other program, called the Global Entrepreneur in Residence program, will give immigrants the opportunity to launch startups while being employed and mentored by the university.

“All of this is part of our efforts to continue to support the regional economy,” Jesse Bernal, the vice president for GVSU’s Division of Inclusion and Equity said. “To continue to support an inclusive economy and to continue to support learners at Grand Valley and elsewhere in their pursuits of building their careers and lives after Grand Valley.”

Bernal adds Michigan has a need for additional workforce talent and immigrants can help fill that gap.

While both programs are new GVSU and the region, they have been implemented in the Detroit-area through Global Detroit which runs the programs.

“I would hope that there would be an immediate impact,” Bernal said. “With the Global Entrepreneur Program in Detroit they have found that individuals that go through the entire vetting process and are offered a visa to stay here and start their company they’re contributing immediately to the economy with job creation, with income creation, and wealth creation.”

Bernal adds students who went through the Global Talent Retention Program in Detroit were also able to continue working with the organizations and companies that were in need of workers.

Both programs will begin in the fall.

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