1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to footer
Economic Development Since 1999 Contact Us

Alcoa Howmet – Whitehall, Michigan

Advanced manufacturing providing optimized solutions for improved performance, efficiency and value

Eagle Alloy

Eagle Alloy, Inc. – Part of the Eagle Group of companies - Muskegon, Michigan

Serving a diverse customer base and utilizing lean manufacturing practices; one of the premier steel foundries in the country


Alcoa Howmet – Whitehall, Michigan

A commitment to environmental sustainability; keeping the health and safety of their employees, customers and communities a top priority

Culinary Institute

Muskegon Area First: Helping Local Businesses Flourish

The Culinary Institute of Michigan - Baker College's world-class caliber culinary learning environment


Alcoa Howmet – Whitehall, Michigan since 1951

Leading producer of complex investment-cast turbine components for the aerospace and industrial gas turbine industries

Home » Community Resources » News


Baker College of Muskegon attracting more out-of-state students

Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 6:03 AM    
Brian McVicar | The Muskegon Chronicle By Brian McVicar | The Muskegon Chronicle


MUSKEGON — When Payton Pugh graduated high school in June 2010, she had lots of options on where to go for culinary school.

The Winchester, Va., resident was accepted at culinary schools in California, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. But when it came time to seal the deal, she made a choice that at first blush seems a bit unusual: She came to Muskegon.

Pugh, 19, enrolled at Baker College's Culinary Institute of Michigan, 336 W. in downtown Muskegon, and is working toward an associate degree in culinary arts. She's expecting to graduate by next summer.

“I saw Baker, I saw where it was located, and I just sort of fell in love with it,” she said.

Pugh is part of what is turning out to be a growing demographic at Baker College of Muskegon — out-of-state students.

The number of out-state-students attending Baker has nearly tripled in the past six years, jumping from 36 in 2005 to 107 in 2011. While the students represent only 2 percent of the college's enrollment of 5,200, the trend hasn't escaped administrators.

Lee_Coggin,_J.D.JPGLee Coggin

Lee Coggin, president of Baker College of Muskegon, said he is pleased that more students are choosing Baker College. Coggin said he believes the increase reflects two things: Quality programs and affordable tuition.

The average cost of one year's tuition at Baker College of Muskegon for a full-time student is $7,500. Baker College, unlike public universities, doesn't charge out-of-state students a different tuition rate than students from Michigan.

Coggin said students are becoming more savvy about choosing where they attend college.

“Students are getting much more sophisticated about where they shop for certain programs,” Coggin said.

Baker is a private, nonprofit, Michigan-based career college with 11 campuses throughout the state.

Many of its out-of-state students are from nearby states, such as Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, but some have come from places such as Tennessee, Florida, New York, California and Texas.

For Pugh, the decision to come to Baker boiled down to several factors. She saw Baker's culinary program as strong, and while she loved the area's beaches, she also was attracted by the amount of snow and cold weather that Muskegon gets each year.

Out of state Baker College students
EnlargeKen Stevens | The Muskegon Chronicle Baker College student Anthony Parrott, 24, of Chicago talks with a fellow student after receiving a graded quiz that was returned to him by instructor Ken Horn during his Psychology of Disabilities class on December 7, 2011. He is one of a growing number of students attending Baker who is from out of state. (Muskegon Chronicle/Ken Stevens) Photo available for sale, please call 231-725-6368. Out of state Baker College studentsgallery (12 photos)
  • Out of state Baker College students
  • Out of state Baker College students
  • Out of state Baker College students
  • Out of state Baker College students
  • Out of state Baker College students

“I just love the cold,” she said. “I wish it would snow all the time.”

Out-of-state students are enrolled at numerous programs at Baker, but Coggin said the Culinary Institute of Michigan has been one of the school's major draws. Numbers detailing how many out-of-state students were enrolled at the Culinary Institute were not available.

Other programs attracting attention are physical therapy assistant, occupational therapy assistant and veterinary technician, administrators say.

“I think the Culinary Institute has certainly increased our national profile,” Coggin said. He said the induction of Robb White, the institute's Dean of Culinary, into the American Academy of Chefs has helped elevate the standing of the school.

Kendra Alexander, of Huntington, Ind., said she chose Baker's Culinary Institute because she was looking for a school that was less expensive than those in Indiana, and one of her friends who already was attending another Baker campus in Michigan praised the school.

“I wanted to try something out-of-state, something new,” said Alexander, a first-year student. She said she looked at other culinary schools, but “they just weren't in my price range.”

M1213OUTOFSTATE3Ken Stevens | Muskegon ChronicleServer and Baker College Culinary Institute of Michigan student Payton Pugh, 19, of Winchester, Va., takes appetizers out to customers at the Courses Restaurant located in the Culinary Institute of Michigan in downtown Muskegon. Pugh now has enrolled in Baker's Emergency Medical Technician program.

Alexander has enjoyed her time at the Culinary Institute, where she's studied baking and pastry, but she recently switched directions and enrolled in Baker's Emergency Medical Technician program.

“I don't really have an explanation for it,” she said. “I just want to do something more for people than cooking. I figure that as an EMT I can help people.”

Coggin says beefing up its marketing might have accounted for part of the increase in out-of-staters. Baker, which has 11 campuses throughout the state, now has representatives who visit high schools in Illinois and Indiana.

The college has also attempted to reach out to students using social media websites, such as Facebook, and recently purchased a full-page ad on the back of a nationally renowned culinary magazine.

“It's a pretty comprehensive strategy to get our name in front of students,” he said. “Our biggest hope is that they will come pay us a visit.”

It wasn't a certain program that lured Anthony Parrott of Chicago to Baker College of Muskegon. It was his sister, Letha.

Out of state Baker College studentsOut of state Baker College studentsPayton Pugh, 19, of Winchester, Virginia and Anthony Parrott, 24, of Chicago are a growing number of students attending Baker who are from out of state. Watch video


She was attending Baker in Muskegon, but she was homesick and thinking about leaving, he said. The Jacksonsville, Fla., school at which he was studying carpentry had closed, so Parrot, 24, said he decided to come to Baker and enrolled in the fall of 2006.

“I didn't want her to quit school,” Parrott said. “I had the ambition of rescuing her, but I also didn't have a lot going on, and I knew the importance of education.”

He decided to pursue a bachelor's degree in human services, saying he was attracted to the topic because he likes to help people through tough situations.

“It's just something that comes naturally to me,” he said. “Talking with people and helping them rationalize.”

What also made Baker a reasonable choice for Parrott, who took time off from Baker after enrolling in 2006 because of a death in his family, was its tuition. He'll graduate with a bachelor's degree this spring.

“If I had out-of-state tuition, I probably wouldn't be here,” he said. “That would definitely make a difference.”





GE Aviation gets big Southwest Airlines engine contract, airfoils made in Muskegon

John S. Hausman | Muskegon Chronicle

GE Aviationon Tuesday announced that Southwest Airlines has ordered $4.7 billion in engineswhose airfoils will be made in the Muskegon area.

The impact on local employment and production isn't yet known, but the company predicted steadily increasing production rates for many years.

GE Aviation has plants on Latimer Drive in Muskegon and Norton Center Drivein Norton Shores. It was formerly known as Johnson Technology.

Airfoils are made in the Norton Center facility, which just completed a 31,000-square-foot expansion to accommodate increased demand.

GE has won orders for 300 LEAP-1B engines and 116 CFM56-7B engines to power 208 Boeing aircraft, the company announced. Delivery of the aircraft to Southwest is scheduled to begin in 2017.

"I'm sure it will have some positive effect," Curtis Evans, GE Aviation's local human resources director, said of the contract's impact on Muskegon-area operations. With full production so many years in the future, it's impossible to predict the effect on employment, he said. P { MARGIN-BOTTOM: 0.08in }

The engines are products of CFM International, GE Aviation's 50-50 joint venture with Snecma, a French company.

The engines are highly efficient and help airlines improve fuel burn, emissions and noise, the company said.


Courtesy photoGE Aviation's LEAP engine



Muskegon's Mercy Health Partners plans $15.4 million renovation, addition

Published: Wednesday, December 07, 2011, 7:30 AM     
By Mark Sanchez | Business Review West Michigan



A proposed $15.4 million renovation and addition at Mercy Health Partners’ Mercy hospital campus would continue a facility consolidation in Muskegon that began with the 2008 merger with Hackley Hospital.

The project, representing the largest remaining space consolidation since the merger, would enable Mercy Health Partners to relocate inpatient and outpatient diagnostic labs from the Muskegon General campus on Oak Street and generate efficiencies by reducing lab locations in Muskegon from three to two: The Mercy Campus and the Hackley hospital campus.

In closing inpatient services at the 25-bed Oak Street campus, Mercy Health Partners will save $1.2 million annually in utility and maintenance costs and $820,000 in labor costs, plus avoid $10 million in needed capital improvements at the site, according to a certificate-of-need application the health system filed with the state.

Pending state approval, the renovation work could begin this winter, said Jim Roberge, senior director of facilities services at Mercy Health Partners.

The proposed two-story, 39,495-square-foot addition, plus 10,358 square feet in renovated space, would accommodate the lab work relocating from Oak Street and the future expansion of clinical services at the Mercy Campus that’s presently “very tight” on space, Roberge said.

Mercy Health Partners plans to leave one floor of the addition vacant for now and decide on its use later, Roberge said.

“That gives us some flexibility on what is really the best use of clinical space,” he said. “There’s a variety of options that we’ll evaluate to do with that space.”

Mercy will also review options for the Oak Street campus and will “very likely” issue an RFP to developers next year to generate ideas, Roberge said. The future use of the Oak Street campus “is all about demand and need and so forth,” he said.

“We hope there may be a better use for that property in the future,” he said. “It’s really a re-purposing of the property, we hope, at some level. Anything is a potential possibility, I would suspect.”


Page 29 of 29