SILVER2024

West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT)

Impact By Design

aka WMCAT   |   Grand Rapids, MI   |  wmcat.org

Mission

WMCAT provides a culture of opportunity for people to make social and economic progress in their lives and community.

Ruling year info

2005

President and CEO

Jamon Alexander

Main address

614 First Street NW Suite 300

Grand Rapids, MI 49504 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

74-3120354

NTEE code info

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2023, 2022 and 2021.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Grand Rapids has experienced significant growth in recent years, boasting the fasting growing economy in the U.S. in 2016. Forbes.com lists Grand Rapids as one of the best places to raise a family. U.S. News and World report ranks Grand Rapids as a top 20 best city to live. However, the reality in Grand Rapids is that not everyone benefits from its economic growth. In 2015, Grand Rapids was ranked as the second-worst city in the nation economically for Black Americans. The Neighborhoods of Focus (17 census tracts identified by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation) are home to one-third of the citys overall population and one-half of the citys poverty. Unemployment and poverty for people of color in these neighborhoods are at 50 percent and 40 percent, respectively. WMCAT is working to address equitable access to opportunity for both teens and adults through curriculum-based programming in arts and technology, workforce development, and social enterprise.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Teen Arts + Tech Program

The Teen Arts + Tech Program is a nationally recognized, tuition-free afterschool experience through which Grand Rapids Public high school students leverage visual arts and digital media to build creative confidence, elevate voice, connect with community, and explore possibilities for the future. The program offers semester-long experiences in on-site studios led by professional teaching artists.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

The Adult Career Training Program engages Kent County adults experiencing under and unemployment in tuition-free career training in Health Information, Pharmacy Technician, and Cybersecurity. Through professionally led instruction, leadership and personal development curriculum, externships with local employers, and on-site supports, students prepare to take national certification exams and enter their new career field.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Public Agency at WMCAT is a Human-Centered Design consultancy that works with organizations locally, statewide, and nationally to foster cultures of equity, action, and innovation. With a portfolio of multi-sector collaboration, Public Agency promotes methods and mindsets that prioritize the lived experiences of those most impacted by the design.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Step Year is specifically designed to help Kent County young adults, ages 18-24, find a career or educational path thats right for them. The tuition-free program is a unique mix of college and career exploration, self-discovery, and connections to employment pathways in a variety of sectors. Through WMCATs curated curriculum and mentorship approach, students develop an action plan to guide their next steps toward post-secondary education and/or career.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

Where we work

Awards

Finalist 2014

National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards

Finalist 2015

NEA and Presidents's Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Affiliations & memberships

Americans for the Arts 2014

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Member 2014

National Guild for Community Arts Education 2015

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients passing job skill competency exams or assessments after completing course

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Adult Career Training Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Adult Career Training Program: % of students who took certification exams and passed.

Number of clients still working after 12 months

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Adult Career Training Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percent that were still employed one year later.

Number of participants who gain employment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Adult Career Training Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percent employed in field within six months of graduation.

Number of program graduates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Adult Career Training Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percent that completed the program and graduated.

Number of participants who would recommend program to others

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Teen Arts + Tech Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percent of students who said they would recommend the program to others.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Teen Arts + Tech Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of unique students enrolled in the program.

Number of clients receiving health care benefits as part of wage package

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Adult Career Training Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percent who reported receiving health benefits on the job.

Number of youth who plan to attend post-secondary education

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Teen Arts + Tech Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percent of teens who indicated post-secondary plans, goals.

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed social skills (e.g., interpersonal communication, conflict resolution)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Teen Arts + Tech Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percent of teen students who were applying skills consistently at end of program; as assessed by their teaching artist.

Number of youth who demonstrate critical thinking skills (e.g., reasoning, analysis)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Teen Arts + Tech Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percent of students who were applying skill consistently at end of program; as assessed by their teaching artist.

Number of youth who demonstrate civic participation skills (e.g., compromise, perspective-taking)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Teen Arts + Tech Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percent of students who indicated that WMCAT helped them learn about community and connect with a civic partner for a project.

Number of youth who demonstrate leadership skills (e.g., organizing others, taking initiative, team-building)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Teen Arts + Tech Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Percent of students who demonstrated skills consistently at end of program; as assessed by their teaching artist.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The mission of WMCAT is to create an equitable culture of opportunity for people to make social and economic progress in their lives and community. Particularly WMCAT supports under and unemployed adults on a journey to income security through training for and placement in living wage careers; supports urban teens on their journey to high school graduation through experiences in design, technology and civic engagement; and engages young adults on their journey to post-secondary success through an apprenticeship and mentoring experience.
de increasing their economic security through a career of their choice, providing a living wage, benefits, and career laddering opportunities. At WMCAT we curate programming that gives adults and teens choice in their unique journeys to success. We continually aim for equity and inclusiveness. Our organizational goals are grounded in a two-generation approach that recognizes the unique but symbiotic needs of parents and children together.

Our best-practice Adult Career Training Program engages under and unemployed adults in a holistic, comprehensive career training experience in medical coding, medical billing and pharmacy technician. WMCAT developed and piloted an integrated approach called Leadership By Design, which engages students in a tailored curriculum, while partnering with employers for a more authentic recruiting and on-boarding experience.

The Teen Arts + Tech Program engages high school students from Grand Rapids Public Schools in an after school visual arts and technology experience. Each student participates in a studio that is led by a professional teaching artist, focused on a specific arts or tech discipline, and connected to community partners for rich project-based learning experiences.

WMCAT's social enterprises are: Ambrose, a commercial screen printing business that is employing graduates of our teen program; and Public Agency,a design thinking consultancy.

In 2015 WMCAT was named Nonprofit of the Year by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce; followed in 2017 by being named Best Managed Nonprofit by MiBiz publication.

WMCAT is part of the national Ascend Network of The Aspen Institute for emerging best-practice programs in two-generation work. Two-generation programs are described as those that “create opportunities for and meet the needs of vulnerable children and their parents together, moving the whole family toward educational success and economic security.”

The WMCAT Teen Arts + Tech Program was recognized by the White House in 2016 with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. We were one of 12 programs lauded for our contributions to creative youth development.

WMCAT’s philosophy around social enterprise endeavors is to explore, prototype, and create initiatives that are profitable for WMCAT, delightful for clients, and beneficial for employees.

According to our 2023 independent evaluation reports:
Teen Arts + Tech Program
99 percent of Teen Arts + Tech Students believe WMCAT is a welcoming environment.
93 percent of Teen Arts + Tech Students said, "At WMCAT, I feel accepted for who I am."
81 percent of Teen Arts + Tech Students said, "I feel confident in expressing myself artistically."
99 percent of Teen Arts + Tech Students said, "I would recommend the Teen Arts + Tech Program to another student."

Adult Career Training Program
70 percent of our 2023 graduates employed as of November 2023.
100 percent of Adult Career Training Students believe WMCAT helped them create a support network to them succeed.

Financials

West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT)
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT)

Board of directors
as of 04/09/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Tim Williams

Meijer, Inc.

Term: 2023 - 2026

Brian Schwartz

Eighty Five Miles

Wendy Brummel

Meijer, Inc.

Michelle Muelendyk-Yost

Amway

Thomas Braun

StreamSong Advisors

Maleika J Brown

Grand Rapids Public Schools

Scott Dresen

Corewell Health

Omar Hall

Medical Manufacturing Technologies

Steve Jandernoa

42 North Partners

Kim McLaughlin

Wolverine Building Group

Steve Miller

Steelcase, Inc.

Ciciley Moore

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Mike Ramirez

Orka Automation

Elizabeth Wells Skaggs

Varnum Law

Lauren Youngdahl Snyder

Consumers Energy

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/9/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data