The West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) is acquiring Ambrose, a Holland-based after school program and screen printing business. Ambrose Founder Adam Weiler is joining WMCAT as project director to oversee a new social enterprise that will employ urban teens and young adults, while providing earned revenue for our nationally-recognized Teen Arts + Tech Program.
“Ambrose is an incredibly innovative organization that has been at the forefront of social enterprise work,” said Kim Dabbs, WMCAT executive director. “By bringing their model to WMCAT, we can give urban teens valuable employment opportunities, while developing a new, sustained revenue stream for WMCAT’s important work in social impact.”
In February WMCAT will acquire the screen printing business and equipment from Ambrose, which will cease operations in Holland at that time. Production is expected to begin in March, providing screen printing services to business and nonprofit clients within WMCAT’s facility at 98 E. Fulton Street in downtown Grand Rapids. WMCAT plans to employ teens and young adults connected to our arts and tech program.
“The opportunity to join Ambrose with WMCAT in Grand Rapids is really exciting,” said Weiler. “Together we can help young people make valuable connections between creativity and career. Social enterprise applies commercial principles to affect social change. With this new venture at WMCAT we will be enriching urban teens by using a creative business to teach leadership, design thinking, and commercial competencies.”
The new partnership is the result of talks between Dabbs and Weiler that were facilitated by staff at Start Garden. In its work with teens, WMCAT saw a need for youth employment both for high school students and recent graduates. The organization has also been working to increase earned income that will, combined with charitable gifts, support mission-related programming. This new partnership addresses those needs, while giving the Ambrose model a stronger infrastructure and foundation for success.