Macomb Community College Leads Coalition to Address Manufacturing Skills Gap


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M-CAM trained displaced and underemployed workers for manufacturing jobs.

Photo Courtesy: Macomb Community College

Led by Macomb Community College in Warren, a consortium of eight community colleges in Michigan today released the results of a four-year manufacturing skills project, funded by a $24.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The group, Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (M-CAM), was designed to train displaced and underemployed individuals for manufacturing jobs in high demand, including CNC machining, mechatronics, welding, fabrication, and production.

Running from 2014 through 2017, M-CAM reported enrollment met more than 140 percent of the program’s student goal, aligned curriculum with industry standards and certifications, drove wage increases, and doubled employer relationships throughout the project.

“This project demonstrated what is possible when there is close collaboration between community colleges and employers,” says Joe Petrosky, dean of engineering and advanced technology at Macomb Community College. “Not only were we able to provide employers with the skilled workers they need to sustain and grow their businesses, but we were also changing the lives of our community members by connecting them to sustainable-wage jobs and career pathways.”

Other participating institutions included Bay College, Grand Rapids Community College, Kellogg Community College, Lake Michigan College, Lansing Community College, Mott Community College, and Schoolcraft College.

Over the past four years, M-CAM saw 3,925 students enrolled in participating programs. Macomb Community College was the most successful at recruitment, enrolling 255 percent of its target.

Additionally, 79 percent of participants left M-CAM’s program with a college certificate, a professional credential, or a college degree. Eighty-three percent of students were employed by the end of the first quarter following their completion of M-CAM, and 70 percent of incumbent worker participants who completed the program received a wage increase, from an average of $15.91 to $17.25 per hour.

Macomb Community College educates nearly 40,000 students annually and is the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. More information about M-CAM can be found here

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