Home /  Coming March 16: Michigan Reingnites its Industrial Past
By Paul Bradley  /  
2015 March 5 - 08:55 pm

Coming March 16: Michigan Reingnites its Industrial Past

Governor's Plan Seeks to Put State on Track to become the National Leader in Developing Talent

No state evokes America’s once-mighty industrial past like Michigan, a state and economy built on the automobile industry and the skilled craftsmen who build the cars in vast factories and assembly plants. But the state lost nearly 860,000 jobs between 2000 and 2009, more than half of them in manufacturing, leading state leaders to contemplate an economic future based not on manufacturing, but on things like science, technology, health care and green energy.  Now, though, the state’s economy is in recovery. The auto industry is booming again. And Michigan is going back to the future, again stressing the training of welders, machinists, electricians and other blue-collar workers and putting community colleges at the center of the effort. Last month, Gov. Rick Snyder announced the winners of an unprecedented $50 million grant program intended to help community colleges boost training in the skilled trades. The Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program will allow community colleges to buy state-of-the-art equipment, allowing colleges to ramp up training and closed the gap between available jobs and work-ready students. “We are positioning Michigan to become the national leader in developing talent,” Snyder said in announcing the plan. “This serious investment — one of the largest of its kind in the country — will tap our top-notch community colleges and help new students and adults looking for new opportunities gain the skills sought by companies looking to grow and expand, creating more and better jobs in Michigan.”      In all, 18 community colleges around the state will receive grants under the program and provide $21.5 million in matching funds. The initiatives to be undertaken by the college are as diverse at the state itself. 

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