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My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants worth $14,125

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants worth $14,125

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Feb. 23, 2015-- The Consumers Energy Foundation announced today it has recently awarded 28 volunteer grants worth $14,125 to nonprofit organizations in Kent County and the surrounding area to recognize outstanding volunteerism by Consumers Energy employees and retirees. 

The foundation awards Volunteer Investment Program grants to encourage and reward volunteerism by those who work or have worked for Consumers Energy.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy.  It provides funding for a variety of areas including education, community, civic and cultural development, social services, the environment, and emerging issues.

Michigan nonprofit organizations received more than $10 million in contributions in 2014 from Consumers Energy, its employees, retirees, its foundation and parent company CMS Energy.

Meijer generates nearly $6 Million for Midwest food pantries in 2014

Meijer generates nearly $6 Million for Midwest food pantries in 2014

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The Meijer Simply Give program – held three times a year – generated nearly $6 million in 2014 for food pantries throughout the Midwest, bringing the program’s overall donation total to nearly $14 million since it began in November 2008.

The retailer’s most recent campaign, which ended in January, was the most successful holiday campaign in the program’s history, resulting in a total of more than $1.8 million for hungry families.

My Town: Specialty crop grant opportunity

My Town: Specialty crop grant opportunity

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Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Jamie Clover Adams today announced new opportunities for Michigan businesses thanks to the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Ag Marketing Services. The program is designed to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan’s specialty crops. Grant proposals must be received by MDARD no later than 3 p.m. on March 26, 2015 by submitting them to MDA-grants@Michigan.gov.

Sable Homes president talks to state leaders about need for skilled trades talent

Sable Homes president talks to state leaders about need for skilled trades talent

 

LANSING, Mich.- Members of the Home Builders Association of Michigan (HBAM) testified in the State House Friday to urge the legislature to find ways to increase the number of workers entering the skilled trades.

“The lack of workers going into the skilled trades is the biggest factor impacting the growth of Michigan’s home building industry,” said John Bitely, president of Sable Homes in Rockford. “The shortage of labor is resulting in construction delays and increased labor costs, and it’s dragging on our state.”

Bitely cited several Michigan laws that make it difficult for home builders to hire young workers and encourage them to look at careers in the construction industry.

My Town: Battle of the Buildings energy reduction competition expands for second year

My Town: Battle of the Buildings energy reduction competition expands for second year

Registration is officially open for Michigan commercial and industrial buildings of all sizes interested in joining the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan's (USGBCWM) second annual Battle of the Buildings competition. The statewide competition is an expansion of the Battle of the Buildings that started in West Michigan last year.

Battle of the Buildings is an awards and recognition program for energy use reduction. The competition is a way to encourage energy-efficient practices in buildings across the state of Michigan and to instill a spirit of friendly competition among the area’s building owners and operators. Steelcase, Western Michigan University and Nichols have already committed for the 2015 competition totaling over 3,000,000 sq. feet.

My Town: Meijer shoppers receive checkout surprise

WALKER, Mich.—Christmas came early to 213 Meijer shoppers, who received a checkout surprise.

 

On Dec. 13, the Walker-based retailer paid for all of the gifts and groceries filling each shopper’s cart, ranging from $350 to $1,200 each.  The company posted video of the event on YouTube, which you can find here.

 

“The holidays are a time for kindness and joy, and the Very Merry Meijer event was a perfect opportunity for us to share the spirit of the season with those we hold dear: our customers,” Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Our family has always believed that our customers don’t need us, but that we need them. That philosophy still guides us today. We are very thankful for our customers, and wanted to find a special way to wish them a very Merry Christmas.”

 

My Town: WAVE Award winners

My Town: WAVE Award winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The businesses and people who take the Grand Rapids experience above and beyond are being honored.

More than 60 people were nominated for this year’s Way Above Visitor Expectations (WAVE) awards.  A panel of judges whittled down the nominees to just eight who exceled in attitude, attentiveness, performance, knowledge and consistency within the local hospitality industry. 

Guests and employers nominated over 62 individuals in eight categories between April and October. A judging panel evaluated the nominees on a set of criteria, including the individual’s attitude, attentiveness, performance, knowledge and consistency within the local hospitality industry. Winners were selected in the categories of Restaurants/Breweries, Attraction/Events, Lodging 150+ Rooms, Lodging less than 150 Rooms, Nightlife, Retail/Service, Volunteer in Hospitality and Transportation.

The 2014 winners include: