ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Washtenaw Community College [WCC] unveiled its new, state-of-the-art equipment funded by the State of Michigan's Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program [CCSTEP] at a ceremony held this morning in the college's Occupational Education building.
The new equipment will position WCC as a leader in providing highly valued skilled trades and technician training and education for its students and will prepare them to transfer seamlessly into the workforce or to a four-year college or university.
Last year, WCC received $4.4 million from the CCSTEP grant – a $50 million initiative spearheaded by Gov. Rick Snyder as a way to help fill the skilled trades gap and position Michigan as a leader in providing workforce talent.
"We want to prepare our young people for the highly skilled, technical jobs available in today's job market," said Gov. Snyder who attended the ceremony. "Michigan's investment in skilled trades equipment and technology through CCSTEP grants allows these students to gain the in-demand skills sought after by companies throughout our state."
The CCSTEP grant also ties the equipment to curricula developed through the college's Advanced Transportation Center. The grant allows the college to advance the skills and competencies demanded by an emerging intelligent transportation industry in degree and certificate programs in Auto Body Repair, Automotive Service, Welding and Fabrication, and Advanced Manufacturing.
"Meeting the demand for qualified and highly skilled workers will lead to an increase of jobs in the state – which is the key to long-term economic prosperity not just for Washtenaw County, but for the state, the country and the world," said WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca.
The new equipment will train students and give them the skills to meet the demands of the rapidly changing industries of welding, machine tool technology, automotive body repair and service, advanced manufacturing, and intelligent transportation systems.
During the ceremony, the college received a donation of ProNest 2017 software valued at more than $150,000 by AKS Cutting Systems, a division of Kiffer Industries. The software will be used on the AKS AccuKut Plasma Cutter/Welder—which is part of the equipment WCC received from the CCSTEP grant.
"Corporate America is the ultimate beneficiary of educated students leaving Washtenaw Community College having been trained with the products in use by America's advanced manufacturing facilities," said AKS Cutting Systems President Dale Phillip. "We view our donation as an investment in Washtenaw Community College and the future of corporate America."
To learn more about the Advanced Transportation Center at Washtenaw Community College, visit www.wccnet.edu/atc.
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SOURCE Washtenaw Community College