Mid Michigan Community College (MMCC) recently received an award from the Michigan Association of Continuing Education and Training (MACET) for the development of its new Plastics Engineering Technology program. The program responds to local workforce needs and was developed in conjunction with local manufacturing leaders. These program aspects, among others, contributed to MMCC’s receipt of this accolade.
In 2011, MMCC received a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Plastics grant totaling nearly $750,000.
While Mid Michigan Community College has a longstanding tradition of positive regional manufacturing relationships, the grant took those relationships to a new level by engaging local plastics manufacturers in identifying their specific workforce training needs. By bringing area manufactures to the table and seeking their support, creating gap analyses and developing program outlines to meet their specific needs, the NSF grant was put into positive action.
The NSF grant funds were used to develop Plastics Technology programs that ladder from non-credit, short-term training in welding and computer numerical control to a Plastics Technology certificate and an associate degree.
The program has met nearly 95 percent of its goals to date, including outpacing the numbers of students who have successfully completed the short term training programs. This fall, MMCC’s first cohort of students entered the newly launched Plastics Technology certificate and two year program.
Local manufacturers have worked together to supply the program with equipment, including a one-of-a-kind thermoforming machine. In creating this machine, a team of company presidents, engineers and other leaders combined elements of design, build and software integration to adequately represent three of the world’s foremost experts and suppliers of thermoforming equipment.
“I am honored that MMCC has been recognized for the hard work and contributions of the college’s staff, the grant team, and local manufacturers,” says Scott Govitz, MMCC’s Executive Director of Workforce and Economic Development. “The new Plastics Technology offerings really do represent what is possible when the education and industry sectors of any locale work together to build a pipeline of training to employment.”
MMCC’s Plastics Technology programs will accept new students for the Winter 2015 semester, which begins in January. Enrollment for the winter semester opens in November.
For those interested in learning more about the program, touring MMCC’s facilities, or beginning the process of becoming a Plastics Technology student, visit www.midmich.edu/plastics or contact admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (989) 386-6660.