ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Washtenaw Community College's work in training technicians for jobs in the mobility sector was cited in Gov. Snyder's 2017 State of the State address as a "cutting edge" example of the training needed to prepare the skilled workforce of the future and drive economic growth in Michigan.
A segment of Snyder's address focused on his priority to assure the state is training its skilled workforce, noting that "jobs of today won't be the jobs of tomorrow." As an example of how the state is approaching the training, the governor mentioned the Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program (CCSTEP), which provided funding for upgraded equipment for career tech education programs at 18 community colleges across the state – including Washtenaw Community College.
Washtenaw Community College earmarked its portion of the funding to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for programs in its Advanced Transportation Center, specifically in the areas of advanced manufacturing, automotive transportation servicing and intelligent transportation systems.
Snyder mentioned the new WCC programs during his address, saying he was impressed during a visit to the college's exhibit during Industry Week at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. During the visit, WCC faculty and students demonstrated how sensors in connected vehicles are functionally assessed, diagnosed and repaired.
"WCC is training mobility technicians to understand how to work with cutting edge technology that will be in future vehicles. This is a great example of career connection and the attitude our young people should have when looking at their future careers," Snyder said in a later statement.
'We are so proud of the governor's recognition of our investment in developing a qualified and highly skilled workforce in the mobility sector," said WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca. "His acknowledgment reinforces the vital role our college plays to meet the demand for a skilled workforce and create a sustainable talent pipeline -- which is the key to long-term economic prosperity not just for Washtenaw County, but for the state, the country and the world."
Snyder was in attendance when the new equipment was unveiled during an on-campus event at the college in September. At that event, WCC Advanced Transportation Director Al Lecz said the new equipment will provide a strong tie to the burgeoning mobility industry in the state.
"This CCSTEP equipment enables WCC to meet advanced transportation business and industry demand for technicians trained in state-of-the-art manufacturing process skills and competencies required to meet future product and process innovations," Lecz said. "WCC-trained technicians will be able to work with a variety of light-weighting materials in several manufacturing processes aimed at the industry challenge of producing vehicles meeting continuously more stringent fuel economy and exhaust emission standards."
Washtenaw Community College's Advanced Transportation Center, its information technology curricula, and the expertise of the college's specially trained faculty, has positioned WCC as the number one community college for students interested in acquiring the necessary skills for employment in the areas of connectivity and intelligent transportation systems.
- In addition to the college's Advanced Transportation Center, WCC has developed key partnerships with the Square One Education Network – which encourages middle and high school students to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Math [STEM] disciplines and the University of Michigan and its Transportation Research Institute – which educates students for roles in engineering and product development and conducts transportation research.
- Another key partnership is with Wayne State University in Detroit, a recognized leader in advanced manufacturing research and education, for the creation of professional development opportunities for community college faculty and K-12 teachers centered on lightweight materials.
The college's location within the Transportation Triangle [a combination of SMART corridors and highways being equipped with intelligent technology by the Michigan Department of Transportation], has given Washtenaw Community College an unmatched position as a community college training for jobs in the rapidly growing field of mobility.
To learn more about the Advanced Transportation Center at Washtenaw Community College, visit www.wccnet.edu/atc.
To hear the Governor's recognition of WCC, click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4xEqCiKdbg
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SOURCE Washtenaw Community College