He Said She Said June 2015

Cindy Anderson LR

Early Technical Training Develops Local Talent to Meet Industry Needs

By Cindy Anderson

As businesses grow in the mid-Michigan region, the need for qualified employees continues to rise. Our region consists of many different industries that all need talented candidates. The career outlook through 2020 for our area shows growth in many industries, primarily in health, technology, engineering and manufacturing. As an education entity, Ingham Intermediate School District provides numerous career pathway options for students through Capital Area Career Center (CACC) programs before they leave high school.

Career Center programming is known as Career and Technical Education (CTE). Although many still refer to CTE as vocational training, we do not call it that anymore. Why might you ask? Because it’s no longer your father’s shop class. In CTE programs, students can earn high school academic credit, state and national technical certifications and college credit at no cost. CTE students compete in student professional organizations on a regional, state and national level to illustrate the depth of their knowledge, skills and professionalism. Students graduate from high school with the basic skills and educational background for their chosen career field before they enroll in college or enter the workforce.

Today’s CTE courses are much more rigorous than they were 20 years ago, and students complete CTE programs more prepared for college and careers. In Michigan, 93 percent of CTE students are enrolled in college, working or serving in the military within one year of high school graduation. CTE students are 10 percent more likely to earn their high school diploma than their peers, outperform other students in reading and test twice as high in math. It is predicted by the year 2018, Michigan CTE graduates will qualify for more than 450,000 jobs in our state alone.

At the CACC, we offer 18 programs to students across the Ingham ISD service area in fields, including health, culinary, engineering, welding, precision machining, construction, law enforcement, cosmetology and many more. Next fall, four new programs are being added in the areas of aviation, cybersecurity, insurance and bioscience. By 2020, The Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Statistics expects an increase of more than 15 percent in mechanical and industrial engineers, medical assistants, emergency medical technicians and more than 20 percent for financial analysts, computer analysts, software developers and veterinary technicians. Students do not have to wait until college to begin training for their careers. By starting early, students will decrease tuition costs and increase higher wage employment opportunities if attending college, entering the workforce or earning an apprenticeship.

As a region gaining momentum in the economic recovery, we want our area employers to know high school CTE programming is a great way to find qualified, talented employees. Businesses currently work with local CTE programs across the state to offer work-based learning opportunities, provide oversight on business advisory councils to ensure programs meet industry needs and volunteer in classrooms to share their knowledge and experiences. Working together, we can help students develop career plans that create an educated and skilled workforce for Michigan’s future.

For more information about Career Center programs please call (517) 244-1330 or visit our website at inghamisd.org/cacc.

Cindy Anderson is the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction at Ingham Intermediate School District (ISD) and serves as the Career and Technical Education Director for the service area. She joined Ingham ISD in 1998 and has experience in all instructional areas including Early Childhood, Special Education, General Education and Career and Technical Education. Anderson received both her Bachelor and master’s degrees in education from Grand Valley State University.

Knight 2015Skilled Trades are Vital to Michigan’s Economy

By Brent Knight

Skilled trades workers are arguably the unsung heroes of today’s society. You won’t see their faces on billboards or photographers taking photos as they walk down the sidewalk. However, skilled technicians play an instrumental role in manufacturing some of our state’s most important products.

In Michigan, working in the skilled trades has always meant good jobs and being the heart of the economy. But today, as a result of the large volume of retirements, the recession and increased technology use, thousands of positions are vacant – and employers struggle to find workers to fill those jobs.

According to the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives (LMISI), between 2012 and 2022, Michigan will have an additional 27,150 skilled trade jobs available due to growth and replacement. In the manufacturing industry alone, there will be 33,450 job opportunities and not nearly enough skilled workers to fill those positions.

Community colleges are organized to serve as a link between unemployed workers and employers seeking to hire. They are affordable, have partnerships with local businesses and have long-standing experience in worker training and certification programs.

LCC currently supports more than 300 apprentices and partners with 50 local employers to fill jobs ranging from Manufacturing Technicians and Electricians, to IT Specialists. Additionally, the College is launching the Michigan Advanced Technician Training Program this fall. Apprentices will alternate classroom work with on-the-job training with an employer, who will interview and hire them at the outset. The training will be free for the apprentices, and upon completion of the program, the apprentice will receive an associate’s degree, a Department of Labor Apprenticeship Certification and the guarantee of a job at the sponsoring employer.

As important as it is to get Michiganians trained and into these jobs, it is equally important that Michigan businesses take advantage of the programs in place. Employers can establish partnerships with area community colleges to ensure that training focuses on needed skill sets and develop a recruitment pipeline for new workers.

Skilled trade occupations are vital to our state’s economy. As Michigan’s skilled workers retire and the advances in technology continue, we will depend highly on the specialized work of tradespeople. By shedding light and creating focus on this industrial shift, we can begin to move the needle.

Dr. Knight became the sixth president of Lansing Community College on July 1, 2008. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ferris State University, a Master of Arts degree in business and community college teaching from Western Michigan University (WMU) and a doctorate of education in educational leadership from WMU before becoming a visiting scholar in strategic planning at the University of Michigan. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of Public Service by Ferris State University in 2012.

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