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Ferris State University and Crystal Mountain sign 'Comprehensive Partnership Agreement'

THOMPSONVILLE, Mich. (April 28, 2023) – In what is being called a “Comprehensive Partnership,” Ferris State University and Crystal Mountain signed a first-of-its-kind agreement that provides a broad range of career exploration, employment and internship options for students, and training opportunities for employees.

The parties gathered for a signing ceremony earlier this month in Thompsonville, at Crystal Mountain, making the new pact official. According to University officials, this new level of partnership moves beyond typical collaboration into a targeted alliance which will meet the needs of the industry workforce head on. Crystal Mountain’s popular features align with industry-respected Ferris academic programs, such as Hospitality Management, PGA Golf Management, Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR), Human Resources and more. Ferris President Bill Pink sees this agreement as a win-win for Ferris and Crystal Mountain.

“Ferris State University could not be more excited to have this broad-based partnership that aligns our diverse range of academic programs with the high-caliber services that Crystal Mountain offers right here in northern Michigan,” Pink said. “This is a partnership between higher education and industry that makes perfect sense on multiple levels. We’re thrilled to have an agreement with a first-rate partner which provides education and training to the Crystal Mountain staff while also opening up interdisciplinary educational opportunities for our students to apply what they’re learning in the classroom to a real-world setting at an outstanding resort.”

Established in 1956, Crystal Mountain is a family-owned, four-season resort located less than 30 miles southwest of Traverse City featuring a variety of lodging options, dining, downhill and cross country skiing, two championship golf courses, the Crystal Spa, Michigan’s only alpine slide, the Park at Water’s Edge, Michigan Legacy Art Park, among many outdoor recreation activities. In the heart of northern Michigan, the 1,500-acre vacation destination is also popular for weddings, family reunions, retreats, meetings and conferences, all of which can be held inside the Crystal Center or one of the outdoor venues.

Ferris and Crystal Mountain plan to explore and develop classroom and workforce projects benefiting both parties. One key agreement goal is to reach a diverse and inclusive cross-campus section of Ferris academic programs to add value to the partnership. In addition, employee training opportunities will be facilitated jointly by Ferris’ Corporate and Professional Development department and Crystal Mountain.

Further, the agreement calls for Ferris students, faculty and staff to visit Crystal Mountain, to foster experiential learning, and for Crystal staff to visit Ferris at its main campus in Big Rapids to further training opportunities aimed at professional growth.

John Melcher, chief executive officer of Crystal Mountain, expressed his enthusiasm about this mutually-beneficial collaborative opportunity with Ferris.

“‘Collaboration and Partnership’ are among Crystal’s core values because we believe working together creates the highest value over time,” Melcher said. “Our partnership with Ferris State University will unlock tremendous opportunity for everyone involved – students, faculty, Crystal Mountain staff and our industry, which ultimately benefits Michigan. We look forward to working alongside Dr. Pink, his leadership team and the entire Ferris State community.”