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My Town: Sweet surprise comes to downtown Rockford

My Town: Sweet surprise comes to downtown Rockford

ROCKFORD, Mich.—Visitors to Rockford are in for a sweet surprise.

Sweetland Chocolates & Coffee is moving in.  The company recently posted signs on its new storefront at 9 North Main Street NE.  According to the company’s Facebook page, the new candy and coffee shop will feature a full espresso bar.

Sweetland Chocolates & Coffee is expected to open in June.

HBA of Greater Grand Rapids announces winner of $10k giveaway for home renovations

HBA of Greater Grand Rapids announces winner of $10k giveaway for home renovations

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– A homeowner in Eastown is getting $10,000 to renovate her place.

Cami Estep won the giveaway contest by the Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids and Option 1 Credit Union.  The two groups launched the contest in February, during the Grand Rapids Remodeling and New Home Show. 

“Our home is more than 100 years old, so the possibilities for projects are endless,” said Estep. “We were already planning on redoing an upstairs bathroom, but our furnace has been making some interesting noises lately, so we may choose to replace our aging heating and cooling system instead!”

Although she may not know exactly how to invest the money yet, one thing is for certain-- Estep and her family are very grateful for the HBA of Greater Grand Rapids.

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

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

----NEWS RELEASE---

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

----NEWS RELEASE---

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

----NEWS RELEASE----

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.