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Macomb Community College awarded $1M by National Science Foundation to support workforce needs of automotive industry

– Tuesday, March 19, 2019 10:00AM

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced the award of $1,050,000 to Macomb Community College’s Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) to support the ability of industry and education to keep pace with fast-moving technological advances in the automotive sector. Cultivating increased collaboration between academia and industry, CAAT was originally established in 2010 supported by NSF funding and in partnership with Wayne State University.

CAAT works closely with auto manufacturers and their suppliers to identify emerging education needs, building and sharing industry-reviewed and -approved curricula and learning resources. For example, Macomb Community College’s new vehicle development technician associate degree program is a result of the center’s work. It combines mechanical, electronic and software skills to train technicians to assist in building and testing prototype vehicles and vehicle systems.

“Advanced automotive technology, including materials lightweighting, automated and connected vehicles, and vehicle electrification, is disrupting the traditional automotive sector,” said James O. Sawyer IV, president, Macomb Community College.  “For our region to maintain its preeminence in the global auto industry, a highly skilled workforce with the right technical skills is a necessity. This NSF award continues the important work of Macomb’s Center for Advanced Automotive Technology in preparing students with the skills needed by a continuously evolving, technology-driven automotive industry.”

CAAT also provides a collaborative network of professional development for educators in programs related to the rapidly evolving automotive industry, including an annual conference, which will take place this year on May 10 and focus on electrification. In addition, CAAT actively works to build youth awareness and interest in STEM and advanced automotive technology careers. It provides a variety of opportunities, including offering engaging workshops for middle school students and supporting Macomb Community College’s AutoSTEAM Days, reaching 2,600 middle and high school students annually with hands-on exposure to the opportunities of automotive careers.

The award to Macomb’s CAAT is funded by the NSF Advanced Technological Education program, which focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced technology fields that drive the nation’s economy.

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 38,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is one of the largest grantors 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: Sean M. Patrick, 586.445.7271, patricks28@macomb.edu