Macomb Community College-led coalition awarded $24.9M U.S. Department of Labor grant to support advanced manufacturing

– Wednesday, September 18, 2013 1:00AM

Macomb Community College, on behalf of the Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (M-CAM), has been awarded a $24.9 million U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) grant.  The funding will support the efforts of eight Michigan community colleges to leverage growing opportunities in advanced manufacturing, directly responding to employer needs and preparing individuals for jobs in computer numerical control (CNC) machining, welding/fabrication, multi-skilled technician and production operations. Those targeted for training include displaced workers, employed workers who require skills upgrading and veterans.

“Community colleges are vital to connecting education, training and students to workplace needs,” said James Jacobs, Ph.D., president, Macomb Community College.  “This $24.9 million DOL grant is an important step forward for Michigan community colleges and employers in leveraging our historical strength in ‘making things’  while harnessing the promise of advanced manufacturing for the economic benefit of our residents, businesses and communities.”

Funding from the four-year grant will cover upgrades to the colleges’ manufacturing technology to current employer standards, development of new educational offerings and delivery methods, and the training of 2,738 individuals.  In addition to Macomb College,  the other community colleges in the coalition are:  Bay De Noc (Escanaba), Grand Rapids, Kellogg (Battle Creek), Lake Michigan College (Benton Harbor), Lansing, Mott (Flint) and Schoolcraft College (Livonia).

Selection of the four job sectors was the result of an exhaustive market analysis, including direct employer input.  The M-CAM approach features education and training that promotes job readiness skills, basic skill development, pathways to certificates/degrees, employer involvement, multiple methods of course delivery – including online/hybrid, and career services. 

Another goal of the coalition is to align the curriculum for these programs across all eight colleges, which will be a first in the State of Michigan.   This will not only provide for mobility for students between community colleges but will also offer employers assurance of consistently trained job candidates.

Macomb Community College will provide leadership for the coalition.  Macomb’s portion of the grant is $9.6 million, the largest competitive grant award the college has ever received.  It will provide funding for equipment upgrades to its Michigan Technical Training Center (M-TEC) in Warren that include laser alignment, robotics vision systems, RFID (radio frequency identification) tag reader conveyor, CNC robot load/unload, overhead monorail paint robot, AB and Siemens training stations, VFD (variable frequency drives) and CMM (coordinate measurement machine). 

Macomb will also be training more than 500 individuals in all four of the job sectors: CNC machining, welding/fabrication, multi-skilled technician and production operations.  Macomb wrapped up a three-year, $4.9 million DOL grant earlier this year, which focused on preparing displaced workers for advanced manufacturing jobs in the defense sector.  The college trained 2,558 individuals, 145 percent of the grant’s goal, directly matching 1,279 to jobs.

The other members of the coalition and their portion of the award are:

Bay De Noc Community College $1.5 million
Grand Rapids Community College $4.1 million
Kellogg Community College $2.7 million
Lake Michigan College $1.2 million
Lansing Community College $2.1 million
Mott Community College $2.7 million
Schoolcraft College $1.1 million

The award to the Macomb-led coalition was one of 57 grants totaling $474.5 million announced today through the Trade Adjustment and Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program.

“These investments in demand-driven skills training bring together education, labor, business and community leaders to meet the real-world needs of the changing global marketplace,” said Secretary of  Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These partnerships strengthen not only the American workforce, but the American economy as well.”

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 students annually.  Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and as the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan.  The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media Contact: Jeanne Nicol, 586.445.7204, nicolj@macomb.edu

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