Known as the second largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids is located on the Grand River approximately 48 km east of Lake Michigan. It is a beautiful city with numerous cultural and community activities going on every month. It is a big city but without the expense of typical big cities which include congestion housing system, high rate of crime and much more. This amazing city is the home of people of every color, creed, national origin, race and religion. Whites, African Americans, Europeans, Asians, Dutch, Hispanics, and Native Americans live together in peace and harmony. Every person has contributed in the rich and vibrant community at Grand Rapids that shows unity while valuing diversity above all.
Grand Rapids is also known as ‘Furniture City’ as during the mid-1800s the city was the heart for lumber with cut logs that were processed by floating down the Grand River. The furniture industry expanded by manufacturing raw lumber and crafting wooden products and furniture. Right after showcasing some of the high quality furniture at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, the city received the name, ‘Furniture City’. The Furniture Mart in Grand Rapids was the primary trade show for showcasing various furniture but unfortunately, it ended in 1960. As years passed, Michigan became deforested and the furniture industry began lumbering in the south of United States. Yet, Grand Rapids is still the center of producing high quality furniture which includes high end institutional furniture, office furniture, seating for theater and stadium and much more.
Grand Rapids is home to some of the top business firms, companies, and industries of the United States. The city has the most diverse market in the United States and within the past few years, the city has created a substantial entrepreneurial environment. Grand Rapids is the hub for furniture, automobile, and aviation manufacturing, seating for stadiums and theater and much more. Spectrum Health, not-for-profit, integrated, managed care health care organization is the largest industry in the city with over 23,000 employees, 3000 physicians, and 2000 volunteers. The payroll and the job benefits amounted to over $730 million in 2010. This is one of the best health care systems in the United States.
Grand Rapids is the home to Meijer, Inc., a supercenter chain that has over 200 stores, 195 gas stations all over the United States. The company is ranked in the list of top 10 Largest Private Companies in the United States. The company has established one of the first hypermarket stores in the United States. Johnson Controls, one of the best multinational conglomerate that produces various automotive parts which include electronics and batteries has a section of the company at Grand Rapids. The goal of the company is to provide productive, safe and sustainable products to their consumers. The company creates intelligent buildings, efficient energy solutions, integrated infrastructure and next generation transportation systems. It is a globally diverse company and aims to concentrate solely on their buildings and energy growth platforms.
Varsity News Network is an athletics platform that creates time-saving, simple and communication channels for the athletics departments in various institutions. The headquarters is located in Grand Rapids with over 100 employees from all over the United States to manage programs of more than 1,500 schools. The company has helped to drive the economic development in the city and has achieved more than $300 million revenue in the year of 2015.
The unemployment rate of the Grand Rapids is below the national average, thus indicating a very strong employment rate. Home to some of the top industries such as Meijer, Inc., Spectrum Health, that has provides over 1000 administrative, sales, management a distributive jobs. Grand Rapids has been ranked the second largest job market in the United States with a low employment rate of 3 per cent. Some of the demanding jobs in the city include healthcare support, information technology, manufacturing, production and quality, and general labor. According to the recent report, job opportunities are available in the major companies who hire staffs on different hiring strategies such as direct hire positions, full-time positions, part-time positions, and contract- to-hire positions.
Education is the next sector that provides numerous jobs to faculty members, teachers and staff in various public schools and higher education institutions. Grand Rapids also provides numerous jobs in the health care industry to students who have diplomas, associate degree, bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. The annual average salary at Grand Rapids is around $41,450.
Cost of Living
Grand Rapids, Michigan is one of the most affordable places to live in the United States. A resident of the Grand Rapids who earns only $45,000 would need to earn more than $70,000 to enjoy the same standard of living. Starting from the cost of housing, groceries, health care, utilities, daily commute or car maintenance and other expenses are at a very affordable price. On an average, a household income is around $49,000 where the national average is around $54,000. That means that the median household at Grand Rapids and the median cost of living about 4 per cent less than the other states of the United States. The overall cost of the living index is 89 on the scale of 100 which is 11 per cent less than the national average. By classifying the index: 33 per cent is for services or goods, 30 per cent housing cost, 13 per cent on groceries, 9 per cent on daily commute or car maintenance cost, 10 per cent on utilities such as electricity, water and gas, and 5 per cent is for health care.
Grand Rapids is a place where no one will feel disappointed as there are lots of surprises and amazing things to do, something to appreciate or a good place to explore. There are numerous attractions in the city, and no matter the time of the year, there are plenty of things in the city to keep the visitors busy. The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is one of the most beautiful indoor and outdoor space that showcases a variety of flowers of different species, wonderful gardens of elegant styles. The sculpture in the outdoor is set in the amazing scenic background with trees and waterways. The park also has a five story, Lena Meijer Conservatory that provides an incredible setting with extravagant plants.
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is a great museum where one can enjoy and understand the lives of the President and Mrs. Ford. The museum exhibits the Smithsonian Institution, Presidential libraries system, and the National Archives. Grand Rapids Public Museum showcases the history of Michigan where the visitors can enjoy a nice stroll down the Grand Rapids Street that, a carousel from the 1920s, and the working furniture factory from the 20th century which is still open. Grand Rapids Art Museum is a Gold Certified green building that showcases the collections from the 19th and 20th century such as paintings, photographs, arts, and sculptures.
Calvin College is one of the best colleges in Grand Rapids where the institution prepares the students for their future careers. It is a Christian academic institution where the college provides an excellent learning experience and sustains both natural and cultural resources. The college provides a wide range of degrees and professional programs. It was founded in 1876 by the Christian Reformed Church in the North America. Currently, there is a total of over 4000 students in the college. Calvin College offers majors, minors, concentrations and emphases in different fields. The cost per year is $31,730 and the college also has an on-campus housing which starts at $9,840 per year.
Grand Rapids Community College
This is one of the best community colleges in Grand Rapids that provides state-of-the-art learning spaces instead of the traditional classrooms. There are various opportunities at Grand Rapids Community College which includes excellent learning experience, seminars, educational workshops, honor’s courses, and training courses. An average class has about 22-23 students and about 92 per cent of the faculty members hold a master’s or doctoral degrees. The college believes in innovation, sustainability, accountability, and integrity. The tuition fee is $111-$144 per contact hour, depending on the major.
Established in 1866, it is a private, non-profit university and offers Associate’s degrees Bachelor’s degree, Master’s Degree, post-grad certification programs and diplomas in various fields. The university is known to provide quality education to its students and prepares the students to exceed in terms job career, transforming society and achieving their dreams. Their mission is to transform the students to attain the highest level of academic performance. The university provides various types of scholarships, financial aid, and discounts to the students.
Aquinas College is a Roman Catholic, Liberal Arts College established in 1886 by Mother Aquinata Fiegler, OP, and the founder of Roman Catholic Novitiate Normal School in Traverse City, Michigan. Currently, there is a total of over 2000 students with 1635 undergraduate students and 200 post- graduate students. The college promotes the distinctive Catholic identity, regard the diversity and respects the freedom of conscience of each individual. Aquinas College enables to strive for innovation and improvement. The college offers more than 61 majors in Bachelor’s degrees and Master’s degree. The tuition fee for an undergraduate degree is around $498 per credit hour and for Master’s degree is around $548 per credit hour. The college also provides various loans, grants, and scholarships to the students.
This is a private, non-denominational Christian university, where the university provides the traditional undergraduate and graduate programs by means of Professional & Graduate Studies division, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and Asia Biblical Theological Seminary. Established in 1929, the university has since increased their enrollment, the number of a faculty member and has also begun to provide leadership development experience. Currently, there are over 3000 undergraduate and graduate students and the university offers more than 60 academic programs in various fields which include arts, sciences, humanities, Bible, teacher education, computers and business and journalism. The university also provides students loans and scholarships.