Detroit Regional Chamber > Detroiter Magazine > D3C3 in Action: Community Colleges Engaging Employers in New Ways to Meet Talent Needs

D3C3 in Action: Community Colleges Engaging Employers in New Ways to Meet Talent Needs

December 16, 2022

Partners participating in the Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees Community College Collaborative (D3C3) are taking steps to improve employer engagement and create innovative new curriculum and programs that will better meet workforce needs. Here are just a few examples of work being done on collegelevel, systemic-level strategies aligned with D3C3 goals of improving student success and K-12 alignment, and creating employer-led sector pathways.

Macomb’s Electric Vehicle Jobs Academy Focused on New Talent Mix

With the push to the next generation of electric vehicles, a new, complex talent mix is required to foster the industry. At the state level with WIN and Macomb Community College, an employer-led collaborative was formed, including automotive employers, educational and social service providers, and professional organizations, to build deeper levels of collaboration and to develop a thorough understanding of necessary skills sets that support a talent pipeline.

From this, the Electric Vehicle Jobs Academy Collaborative (EVJA) was born, working with industry to further a coordinated K-12 effort in career development, STEM events, and parent and student engagement. The EVJA led by Macomb has completed a comprehensive gap analysis of employer needs by occupation versus community college curriculum to inform of training development.

-Ben Cruz, Director, Center for Advanced Automotive Technology, Macomb Community College

Schoolcraft Creating Training Programs to Meet Needs of Industry 4.0

Michigan has the most extensive network of autonomous vehicle and mobility testing infrastructure in the nation. The necessity for skilled employees is increasing and the training to prepare employees is specific, extensive, and rapidly changing. There is an immediate need for students to complete and successfully gain meaningful employment with family-supporting wages within this growing industry.

Schoolcraft will work closely with employers to develop relevant, flexible training programs that meet the needs of Industry 4.0, particularly related to mobility. Our strategy is to continue to provide relevant training that meets the requirements of our industry partners and meaningful employment in highwage, high-demand jobs for our students. Schoolcraft plans to use existing and evergrowing partnerships to continue to strengthen Michigan’s talent pipeline.

-Glenn Cerny, President, Schoolcraft College

Oakland’s Technical Instruction Apprenticeships Key to Next Generation of Skilled Trades

As a provider of technical instruction for U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Registered Apprenticeship programs, OCC partners with many employers in various sectors from manufacturing to health care. Our programs are growing rapidly because it is a win for students, employers, and our economy by providing on-the-job learning, related instruction, and wage progression that results in a stable and diverse workforce with good-paying jobs.

OCC apprentices earn a U.S. DOL portable, nationally recognized registered apprenticeship certificate; a certificate from OCC; and are shown the academic pathway toward earning a two-year associate degree.

One of our partners, Williams International, indicated that having a DOL registered apprenticeship is important as it allows them the ability to impart years of knowledge onto the next generation of skilled tradespeople.

-Joseph Petrosky, Associate Provost of Academics and Workforce, Oakland Community College

Monroe’s Unified Action, Tech Center Increasing Educational Attainment

The number one predictor of a county’s economic success lies in the talents of its workforce. Monroe County Community College (MCCC) is poised to stimulate economic growth in Monroe and our surrounding regions by expanding our skilled talent pool in high-need careers. Thanks to D3C3 grant funds and data from National Institute for Student Success, MCCC has developed a new initiative which will forge a foundation of county-and region-wide collaboration ensuring unified action as we seek to increase Monroe County educational attainment.

MCCC will be perfecting a Career and Technical HUB concept where high school students can earn credentials and certificates in our state-of-the-art Career Technology Center while in high school for high-wage, high-need careers. Additionally, MCCC will reinvent the student advising process, working  collaboratively with our high schools and business partners to support students and their families ensuring they develop clear pathways to their intended career fields.

-Scott Behrens, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success, Monroe County Community College