GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A unique partnership between Consumers Energy and Grand Valley State University will create a state-of-the art leadership center owned by the energy company along the Grand River on the school's downtown Grand Rapids campus.
This morning, leaders from Consumers Energy and Grand Valley broke ground on the new three-story, 35,000-square-foot leadership center designed for professional development for company employees. It is scheduled to open in late 2016 on Grand Valley's Robert C. Pew Campus, immediately south of the L. William Seidman Center.
"We understand long-term success depends on the leadership of hardworking and well-trained individuals," said John Russell, Consumers Energy's president and chief executive officer. "We measure our performance against peers to achieve consistent, best-in-class results. And we've made a commitment that in everything we take on; we leave it better than we found it. Today, we're making good on that commitment."
"Consumers Energy is one of only five Fortune 500 companies with a major presence in West Michigan. We've been here more than a century and we're pleased to make this commitment we're announcing today with the leadership and development center," said Russell. "This center will not only build tomorrow's leaders for Consumers Energy, it will also leverage the expertise of Grand Valley faculty, staff and the university's facilities here on the Pew Campus."
Consumers Energy will construct the building to achieve LEED Silver certification on land leased to the company by Grand Valley. The building will be placed on the tax rolls, benefitting the city of Grand Rapids.
When Consumers Energy is not utilizing the facility, space will be available for use by Grand Valley. In addition, the company will have reciprocity with Grand Valley facilities. The riverfront site is between the Seidman Center and a university-owned warehouse Grand Valley will repurpose as another asset to the Pew Campus.
"This leadership center provides another positive element to our Pew Campus and to downtown Grand Rapids," Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas said. "It represents the power of private-public partnerships that are at the heart of Grand Valley's history and our recently updated strategic plan. We're pleased Consumers Energy has chosen Grand Valley and the city to enhance its leadership training."
Russell said the center is a logical next step in the company's commitment to great careers at Consumers Energy and to training all of its employees. In recent years, the company has constructed state-of-the-art training facilities for its operating, maintenance and construction employees in Marshall and at the J.H. Campbell Generating Complex in West Olive. It also worked with its labor union, the Utility Workers of America (UWUA), to develop a training center in Potterville last year, where UWUA instructors are teaching various skills to more than 2,500 union employees.
The Grand Rapids building will provide a single location for leadership training sessions, as well as new employee orientation, technical and safety training and project management training and certification.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
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SOURCE Consumers Energy