VUB program extends reach to employers

table with seals of military branches behind it on wall
VUB staff members will lead workshops for area companies with large populations of veterans.
Image Credit: University Communications

Grand Valley's Veterans Upward Bound program has expanded to bring its services to area employers with large populations of veterans who have not earned college degrees.

Tim Marroquin, director of VUB, said he sees this as a natural extension of the program.

"We realized there were large populations of veterans we weren't reaching through our recruitment methods," Marroquin said. "We're now connecting with employers who publicize themselves as veteran friendly."

VUB advisors and instructors will travel to companies with at least 10 participants to conduct workshops on preparing for college, financial literacy, area veteran resources, VA benefits, goal setting, career development, or other topics.

"It's very employer-driven on what they would want to see in terms of enhancing employee skills," Marroquin said.

Last fall, Grand Valley received a $1.3 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish a TRIO Veterans Upward Bound program, providing free academic support services to low-income veterans from Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Allegan counties who want to complete degree programs at any college or university. The office opened its doors in January in the Eberhard Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

More information about VUB is online at