Local program to address employment gaps in advanced manufacturing industry

Macomb County and its neighboring regions have a rich history in both defense and automotive manufacturing.  But as new automation and robotics technology disrupt those sectors, the area’s economy has shifted from having a traditional blue collar workforce to a “new collar” workforce.  This shift in skillsets – from traditional manufacturing to high tech careers – has created a skills gap that further widens as the workforce chooses other career options outside of STEAM. If not addressed, this gap will create problems in production capabilities and all told, the effect on our economic well-being will be devastating.

pexels-photo-1216589To help fill this burgeoning skills gap, Macomb Community College is offering three advanced manufacturing programs in early 2019. The programs – controls technician, maintenance technician and robot technician – are designed to give participating students the training needed to enter the manufacturing industry with no previous experience necessary.

All three programs are noncredit and full time, featuring a combination of classroom education and hands-on experience. The programs run between three and four months long, depending on the focus. Those that successfully complete their program earn a certificate of completion from Macomb, an OSHA 10 card demonstrating the student meets certain OSHA requirements and certification from FANUC, a global supplier of factory automation.  Those that take the controls technician program will also have the opportunity to take the Siemens Mechatronics System Certification Program Level 1 exam. More than 300 employers have hired Macomb students who have successfully completed these programs.

An information session for the maintenance technician and robot technician programs will be held on Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Macomb Community College’s M-TEC (7900 Tank Avenue in Warren).  Those interested in the controls technician program should contact 586.498.4100 in advance of the information session.

The controls technician program will begin Jan. 28, maintenance technician on Feb. 18 and robot technician on March 11. Those who are unemployed may qualify for funding to assist with a portion or all of the cost of tuition. For more information and to register for the information session, go to Macomb.edu/infosession. For additional information on tuition assistance, call 586.498.4100 or email workforcedev@macomb.edu.

Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

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