Meet the Employment Training Specialists

 

Robin Loughrin - Region 1

Robin Loughrin

Robin Loughrin is a certified Employment Training Specialist and Global Career Development Facilitator. She covers the Region 1 area of Kent County, which includes the Kent City, Kenowa Hills, Comstock Park, Cedar Springs, Rockford, Sparta, and Northview school districts.  Robin has been employed in the Worksite-Based Learning (WBL) program at KTC since its inception 23 years ago.  She acquired a Business Management degree at Cornerstone University, and is presently working on a master degree in Secondary Special Education and Transition Services.  Robin enjoys working with young adults and helping them achieve success at their WBL training sites. 

Robin is married, has two adult sons, and a dog named Jaz.  During her spare time, she enjoys walking and reading.  For several years now, Robin and her husband, Jim, have hosted foreign exchange students in their home. This positive experience and her passion for helping students have encouraged her to become even more involved.  Robin now acts as a coordinator for a non-profit exchange student placement organization, which helps students connect with host families.

Lori Patow - Region 2

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Lori Patow has worked in the Worksite-Based Learning (WBL) program at the Kent Transition Center for the past 20 years, and is certified as an Employment Training Specialist and Global Career Development Facilitator.  She covers the Region 2 area, which encompasses all the school districts within the eastern and southeastern portions of Kent County.  Lori loves assisting students at their training sites, and has made connections with a multitude of people in the community throughout her years with KTC.  With 13 years of previous service industry experience, she easily transferred those skills into her present position and has helped many students achieve success.  Lori feels pride in working at KTC because of the staff’s support and overall commitment to meeting the needs of each student.

Lori is married, has four children, and six grandchildren.  She and her husband, Herm, have logged many miles on their motorcycle, and Lori considers their ride to Colorado as her favorite so far.  She also enjoys going to garage sales and auctions during her spare time.

Holly Nichols - Region 3

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Holly Nichols is a certified Employment Training Specialist and Global Career Development Facilitator with 25 years of experience in the education field.  Prior to joining the Worksite-Based Learning (WBL) team, Holly worked in the Electromechanical and HVAC programs at the Kent Career & Technical Center (KCTC) and in the Manufacturing programs at KTC and Kent Occupational High School.  She attained associate degrees from both Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State University, and has a diverse background of job experiences in the private sector.  Holly covers the Region 3 area, providing support to the WBL students who attend the high schools located within Wyoming, Grandville, and Byron Center.   She enjoys watching the students “blossom”, and feels fortunate to be able to work with a staff that puts students first.

Holly has one granddaughter and one grandson, who spend weekends with her whenever possible.  She enjoys sewing, reading, camping, fishing, and canoeing during her spare time.

Brenda Brower - Region 4

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Brenda Brower joined the Worksite-Based Learning (WBL) team three years ago.  She is certified as an Employment Training Specialist, and came with four years of similar experience from the Region 1 Transition Program.  Prior to working in education, she spent 20 years at D & W as a customer service representative and human resources manager.  Brenda is responsible for the WBL students within the Region 4 area, which includes all of the Grand Rapids Public high schools as well as G.R. Christian.  Her friendly demeanor and out-going personality has enabled her to maintain solid relationships with students, local education agency (LEAs) contacts, and training site business partners.  Since becoming a KTC staff member, Brenda has strived to help many students achieve success at their training sites.  She enjoys working with a team that cares so deeply about the students they serve.

Brenda and her husband, Scott, have three children, three grandsons, and a chocolate Labrador named Duke.  During her spare time, she loves watching University of Michigan football games.