Skip to content

Sen. Peters touts MCC skilled trades apprenticeship program

Senator was instrumental in getting grant funding to extend initiative

Sen. Gary Peters visited the Macomb Community College South Campus Monday to see how federal grant funds he helped secure will be used to bolster the college’s Michigan Apprenticeship Program Plus (MAP+) skilled trades and applied technology program.

Peters secured $610,000 through a government funding bill for the MCC program that prepares students for good-paying, in-demand jobs throughout the region. The grant will help ensure continuation of the MAP program for the next four years and enable MCC to expand it to include training for more trades.

“Macomb Community College excels at preparing students for successful careers and obtaining good-paying, in-demand jobs with employers based right here in Southeast Michigan,” said Peters. “I was proud to secure new federal resources to help ensure Macomb can continue to strengthen skills training programs to prepare students for jobs in manufacturing and construction, while also helping address regional workforce shortages.”

The MAP+  program, which started in 2016, seeks to address the problem many businesses are having attracting young workers.

“The program was created to address the employment challenges our employers are seeing with not only an aging workforce but just a general shortage of skilled workers all together,” said MCC President James Sawyer IV. “We wanted to see this apprenticeship program as a pipeline to try to create the skilled workforce that they need.”

Dean of Engineering and Advanced Technology Don Hutchison said for a long time, the skilled trades were not promoted to high school students or even offered as a viable option to a four-year college degree. Many young people, Hutchison said, do not realize they can make a very good salary in the skilled trades and without incurring a great amount of debt while getting their certification.

“Traditionally it was the employers bringing us their workers who became our students,” said Sawyer. “The feedback we were getting from employers was that they were really struggling to get younger workers so in this program, we have several networking events that help connect potential workers with employers.”

The MAP+ program has created a pipeline of students interested in entering the region’s robust construction and manufacturing sectors – which are experiencing a skilled worker shortage across all industries including automotive, aerospace, and defense – to employers throughout Metro Detroit. Peters championed this high-impact, local project to support these efforts to meet local, regional, and statewide workforce needs and help Macomb continue to prepare students for current and future jobs.

“It is important for people to know that students who are accepted into the MAP+ program have zero cost,” said Peters. “They can acquire valuable skills that many times allow them to get a job immediately once they get out of this program and really fill the need we have as a state for skilled individuals in the manufacturing and construction trades.

“We can’t grow the Michigan economy if we don’t have skilled workers to fill the jobs that are available and Macomb Community College has been at the forefront of this effort.”

Macomb Community College will host an open house for the MAP+ program Wednesday, March 22 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the K Building on the South Campus.