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From the Desk of Bob and Von


After four years of promoting the people, places, and opportunities that make Kalamazoo a great place to live, work, and play through the KzooConnect blog, Welsh & Associates has gifted the blog and its infrastructure to The Kalamazoo Promise.

As The Kalamazoo Promise carries KzooConnect forward, we check in with the Promise’s Executive Director Bob Jorth and Executive Director of Community Relations Von Washington, Jr. about the future of KzooConnect.

Unveiled in March 2014, the KzooConnect blog was created by Sheri Welsh, President and CEO of Welsh & Associates. To date, KzooConnect has shared more than 250 blog posts, reaching followers in all 50 states as well as other countries.

Washington said there are revised plans in the works for KzooConnect.

“We want people to see their future in Kalamazoo not elsewhere. We believe that KzooConnect has embraced this message and we see the opportunity to use KzooConnect to better connect and communicate with families and employers that Kalamazoo is a place for everyone,” he said.

Bob Jorth has served as Executive Director of The Kalamazoo Promise since its inception in 2005.

“I’ve watched The Kalamazoo Promise grow and expand its offerings over the years,” Jorth said. “This gift has made nationwide news and been replicated in numerous other cities. Adding KzooConnect to The Promise umbrella will help us spread our message even further.”

Jorth said he hopes the the blog platform will also help current and future Promise recipients understand the program and their options more deeply.

Washington agreed, saying, “Our goal is to decrease the gap in students accessing and successfully utilizing the Kalamazoo Promise. More graduates equal more talent in our community for our employers.

“Adding KzooConnect to our toolbox is just one of many exciting changes for The Kalamazoo Promise,” Washington said.

“Our new building, which is set to open the summer of 2020, will allow us to accommodate new staff including the recently added Pathway Coaches. These staff members will come alongside our students as they prepare to attend college.

“We are also adding a student hub where students can receive academic assistance as well as resources that help them transition from high school to post-secondary education,” Washington said.

A series of blog posts in January will introduce many of the Kalamazoo Promise’s new employees and services to the community.

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