Macomb Community College customized programs match workforce talent to business need

Skilled employees are in high demand in southeast Michigan, but employers often struggle to find potential workers with the right combination of skills and advanced training to fill those positions. Macomb Community College is a valuable resource for area employers, working closely with them to identify needs, to provide relevant training and to connect employers with qualified candidates. In addition to developing customized programs for employers, the college also works to leverage grant funding, where possible, to heighten opportunities for individuals and to sustain and enhance growth of local businesses and industry.

Macomb’s PRISM Project, funded by a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation, is providing advanced manufacturing training to adult learners interested in upskilling.  In addition to offering training in controls technician, robot programmer, mechanical maintenance specialist and robotics technician, the program offers students comprehensive support services beginning with recruitment and choosing a career pathway through career coaching and job placement. Information sessions about this program will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Jan. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the M-TEC facility.

Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Macomb’s Michigan Apprenticeship Program Plus (MAP+) works with area high schools and others to build awareness of and develop apprenticeship opportunities in the skilled trades. This program provides pre-apprenticeship training, employer matching, student outreach and assistance with associate degree attainment and four-year transferability options with a focus on manufacturing (CNC machining, tooling, die, mold, welding, industrial maintenance and others). Employers benefit by hiring highly trained employees who better understand their role and produce superior products with reduced employee turnover.

Automated systems and robotics, a high-demand field in the automotive, defense and aerospace industries, is the focus of Macomb in the Catalyst program, also made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Working closely with employers to both identify labor needs and placement opportunities, Macomb provides training in advanced manufacturing to those unemployed or underemployed as well as incumbent employees in need of additional training.

A booming economy is reliant on the combination of growing businesses and the skilled workforce to help those businesses succeed. Macomb is uniquely placed to work with area employers, develop customized programs designed to meet their specific needs and foster a skilled workforce with the interdependent goals of student success and community prosperity. For more information on Macomb Community College’s PRISM or Catalyst programs, contact workforcedev@macomb.edu. For the MAP+ initiative, email apprenticeship@macomb.edu.

MCC

Holger Ekanger is the director of workforce and continuing education, engineering and advanced technology for Macomb Community College.

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