Julie Parks is the Dean of Workforce Training and the Interim Dean for Business & Industry at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC). She has over 20 years’ experience in workforce development. Under her leadership the GRCC, workforce team successfully trained over 12,391 individuals in 2021-22 and provided training for 384 companies in various sectors, with a student completion rate of 84% and a placement rate of 93%. Her team, with employers, Trinity Health and Spectrum Health and workforce board partners, West Michigan Works, created the first in the nation apprenticeships for Medical Assistant and EEG Technicians, and the first in west Michigan apprenticeships for Healthcare Insurance Agents with Blue Cross, Blue Shield; Sterile Processing Technician; and Surgical technicians. Her goal is that all citizens in west Michigan have opportunities to find careers that will improve their economic security and grow their social networks. She and her team won the 2022 National Workforce Development Boards’ Partnership of the Year with West Michigan Works. She currently manages over $16.9 million dollars in grants from the US Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the band Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation, and the Ludwig Institute. The grant funding allows for over 2450 individuals to receive reduced or free tuition. She is a proud graduate Michigan State University (B.A.) and Central Michigan University (M.A.) and lives in Grand Rapids with her husband Chuck.