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Michigan community college coalition creates unprecedented mobility for students in key manufacturing programs

– Thursday, September 8, 2016 12:00AM

Coalition of eight colleges connects individuals with jobs and provides transferrable credit to support and encourage further training and education

Presidents from six of the eight community colleges that comprise the Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (M-CAM) today signed an articulation agreement at Lansing Community College, marking the first time in the state’s history that community colleges have agreed to align transfer credit among their advanced manufacturing programs.  

The coalition colleges are Bay College (Escanaba), Grand Rapid Community College, Kellogg Community College (Battle Creek), Lake Michigan College (Benton Harbor), Lansing Community College, Macomb Community College, Mott Community College (Flint) and Schoolcraft College (Livonia). 

The agreement supports student mobility, giving them the ability to apply credits earned through an M-CAM program at any one of the coalition colleges, and encouraging continued education and training for ongoing advancement.  The four program areas covered by the agreement are CNC/machining, multi-skill technician/ mechatronics, production operations and welding.  

“M-CAM has created vital pathways for individuals to earn industry credentials and connect with employers in Michigan’s advanced manufacturing sector,” said James Jacobs, president, Macomb Community College, which is leading the coalition.  “This articulation agreement takes M-CAM’s impact  a step further by making the credit that program graduates earn portable within the coalition, enhancing their ability to pursue further education and credentials, supporting career progression.”  

M-CAM was formed around a $24.9 million, four-year U.S. Department of Labor grant awarded in 2013, representing eight Michigan community colleges working together and  proactively collaborating with employers to address identified skills gaps in four key areas of advanced manufacturing.  Those targeted for training include displaced workers, the underemployed, veterans and incumbent workers who require skills upgrading.  In addition to connecting skilled candidates to workplace opportunities in advanced manufacturing, M-CAM has also made great strides in developing new educational offerings and training methods, as well as supporting significant upgrades to each college’s manufacturing technology – ensuring students have hands-on training on current equipment and technology.  

To date, the results of M-CAM have exceeded expectations, including:

  • Enrolling more than 2,900 individuals – already an 10 percent above the 2,700 target for the term of the grant
  • Approximately 70 percent of those who have completed an M-CAM program are employed
  • Of those, 75 percent have received a wage increase 

Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (M-CAM)

M-CAM represents an unprecedented collaborative approach to accessible and achievable career pathways to support and grow an industry sector critical to Michigan’s economy.  M-CAM creates seamless and responsive pathways for job seekers in advanced manufacturing.  Its unique approach integrates employers, community colleges, community partners and national credentials. For more information, go to

Media Contact: Jeanne Nicol,, 586.445.7204