Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program (CCSTEP)
Governor Rick Snyder - $50 million grant will help community colleges boost skilled trades instruction
Kalamazoo Valley Community College Awarded $4,753,682!
February 24, 2015 - Lansing, MI
Students at 18 community colleges across the state will gain in-demand skills using state-of-the-art equipment and training through a $50 million grand program, Gov. Rick Snyder said.
Snyder today announced Michigan Economic Development Corporation approval of schools selected through the Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program, an effort to help close a talent gap and meet a demand for good-paying jobs.
“We are positioning Michigan to become the national leader in developing talent,” Snyder said. “This serious investment -- one of the largest of its kind in the country – will tap our top-notch community colleges and help new students and adults looking for new opportunities gain the skills sought by companies looking to grow and expand, creating more and better jobs in Michigan.”
Announced by Snyder in October, the grant program was created to provide funding that enables Michigan community colleges to purchase equipment required for educational programs in high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand occupations. Earlier today, the Michigan Strategic Fund authorized issuing bonds to fund the program.
“Manufacturing has created more than 114,500 jobs since 2009 and employers are still searching to fill thousands of available positions,” said Chuck Hadden, President and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association. “The Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program provides Michigan’s next generation the equipment necessary to learn the skills manufacturers need.”
The 18 community colleges selected to receive grants will provide more than $21.5 million in matching funds.
“Meeting the skills gap in today’s economy is right in the sweet spot of the training activity of many community colleges. And yet with a rapid pace of change in several new industries, keeping training programs current with the latest equipment and technology can be a challenge,” said Michael Hansen, President of the Michigan Community College Association. “The funding announced today as part of the CCSTEP program will go a long way in meeting that challenge, and we applaud the Governor and the MSF for providing these greatly needed funds in partnership with local employers and community colleges.”
Skilled-trade jobs typically require education beyond high school, along with on-the-job training, but not a four-year degree. The career range includes jobs in health care (lab technicians, dental hygienists), maintenance and repair, public safety, manufacturing (machine operators, welders), along with work as carpenters, plumbers and electricians. Collectively, these jobs represent about one-third of the state’s employment base.
“Expanding the number of skilled people in our world-class workforce is fundamental to furthering Michigan’s business-friendly reputation,” MEDC CEO Steve Arwood said. “This grant program requires unprecedented collaboration among private-sector employers and local educators with focused support from state government. Together, we will be laying a foundation that benefits our businesses and better matches our residents with good-paying, in-demand jobs.”
The grant program is a critical component of the state’s comprehensive $70-million strategy to address the demand for hard-to-fill jobs. The program offered up to $4.8 million to community colleges that would provide a 25 percent match for all equipment costs, including installation, renovations and instructor training.
The program also requires collaboration with school districts and a detailed plan on how the funding will help meet employers’ job needs. Read the entire article here.