Next Step takes a big step forward

"Forward Ever, Backwards Never" is a phrase that was etched into a student-made table at an April 30 open house of Next Step, a faith-based non-profit in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and while the phrase is not the motto of Next Step, the sentiment is apropos.  

Next Step is a faith-based, social enterprise non-profit that provides job skills training and employment to community members who have been systematically pushed towards the edges of our society—yet are determined to build a better future. At Next Step of West Michigan, a faith-based, non-profit in Grand Rapids, staff and volunteers work to give these men and women hope by providing them woodworking and job skills training as well as employment opportunities. Hope through work is their mantra. 

Now, the group is adding a newly renovated building, and growing its capabilities to include training space for high school-aged students involved in the Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) in Kent County, which is a Schools of Choice program that provides students with additional enrollment options, and apartments quarters for those in need. "We are mere months away from completing our renovations at our new building across the street at 101 Garden (in Grand Rapids)," said David Bult, Executive Director of Next Step. "The first level will be a satellite campus for KISD and will host classes for wood product manufacturing. The second level of the building has become apartments for Mel Trotter Ministries transitional living."


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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).