Breaking the Mold: Why a New Education Model Might Bolster the Economy

As Jerry Zandstra makes a move to penetrate the commercial real estate market with the Steelcase Pyramid project involving his soon-to-be-realized campus group, we all beg to ask the question: what will this do for the economy? I mean, seriously — is this a good idea? We’ve seen many an idea or initiative aim to bolster the economy with minimal efforts due to the fact that Michigan seems to be a literal black hole of nothingness at times with job supply rising and falling, the real estate economy looking a bit shaky at times, and question marks sent by Batman’s Edward Nygma Riddler hovering over the heads of every house, store, school or even library clear across the west side to east side of the state. Is this that much of a mystery?

When It Comes to How We Bolster the Economy, the Short Answer Is NO

This takes some ambition to bolster the economy and break the mold, so to speak, reinventing a model that’s been around for years and turn it upside down on its head. We need a little bit of a shake-up in this industry. First off….

Imagine an 11th grader taking classes at the university level because of this ballsy move on Zandstra’s part to bolster the economy. Pretty interesting, right? Now imagine that same 11th grader actually partaking in an apprenticeship or internship with a manufacturing company associated with the steelcase pyramid campus: now we’re getting somewhere.

Driven by Manufacturers

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or Casper the Friendly Ghost to know that Michigan’s Grand Rapids city’s strength is all about manufacturers, so why not foster that as much as possible? In fact, that’s a must — especially if you were to visit one of the plants here only to find that all the engineers and technicians out there on the floor are at least 50 years of age.

The clock’s ticking. They need fresh blood. Merging education and business to bolster the economy through commercial real estate development on this grand of a scale might be a gutsy maneuver — but I’m willing to bet that it’ll pay off in spades, solving this mystery for good. And perhaps we may see light at the end of the tunnel not only for education, but the entire economy.

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