Native Roots Feed Community and Industry

I intended to find some “nugget” of detail that would support an announcement we received about Accu-Mold LLC president Dave Felicijan's appointment to the Groves Advisory Board of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. What I learned was far more than I expected.

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Dave Felicijan, president of Accu-Mold LLC in Portage, Michigan.

 

I started this blog intending to find some “nugget” of information that would support an announcement we received about Accu-Mold LLC president Dave Felicijan's appointment to the Groves Advisory Board of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. What I learned was far more than I expected.

Accu-Mold, which is a mold manufacturing and injection molding company based in Portage, Michigan, is a Certified Minority Business Enterprise. More than that, Accu-Mold is one of six companies within the Mno-Bmadsen family of companies, and has its roots in the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. I’d heard of Accu-Mold, but I never knew the company, which was established nearly 40 years ago, was an integral part of a native American people and helps to provide economic self-sufficiency to its tribal citizens.

With its sister companies, which include architectural and engineering firms, a construction company, a mechanical contracting business and more, Accu-Mold also teaches viable trade skills and employment, offering what is called the Pathways Program. This program helps members of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi to explore career opportunities and prepare themselves for “walking the good path” to a fulfilling career through various pathways, including apprenticeships, internships, education and more. It reminds me of the EMITT Academy career paths discussed in my article titled “Getting Real about Manufacturing Education,” which appeared in the January 2017 issue.

This brings me back to the news about Dave Felicijan joining the advisory board at the Kalamazoo Valley Community College. According to the press release, the college’s Groves mission is to provide training programs and infrastructure to address business, workforce and community needs. The Groves’ center offers several “career academies” including a CNC Operator Academy, and strives to provide relevant competency-based education to enhance workforce skills and job career preparation as well as support economic development in the area. Felicijan says he’s honored to have been offered the opportunity to help shape the workforce training programs at Kalamazoo Valley Community College so that students can become productive members of the local and regional economy.

“Accu-Mold has embraced their responsibility to the community to support educational efforts, and using their expertise assures today’s students they will have the best preparation needed for tomorrow’s marketplace,” says Craig Jbara, vice president, strategic business and community development at the Groves Center. “We look forward to Dave’s input as we continue to identify industry needs.”

You never know what interesting back-stories you’ll find about companies and people until you take the time to research and learn.

 

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