A new training center designed to address the advanced manufacturing skills gap throughout the region is opening in Madison Heights. The Michigan Advanced Manufacturing Collaboration is now accepting applications for its first cohort in CNC mill certification training, which it anticipates will start this December. Officials say the first two or three groups to take the class will do so free of charge, a $3,000 to $3,500 value.
As MAMC grows, it will also offer welding and industrial maintenance programs. The cohorts will be available to adults — especially veterans, officials say — and will eventually expand to include high school students.
“We want what we’re teaching to be life-changing for our students,” says Dan Gilbertson, MAMC Director of Innovative Educational Programs and Strategic Partnerships. “These are good careers, good paying jobs.”
MAMC got its start at Madison High School in Madison Heights. Gilbertson is a former principal at the high school. He and his partners anticipated an industry demand for a local advanced manufacturing workforce; a suspicion that has since been confirmed, he says.
FANUC, one of the world’s largest robotics companies with its North American headquarters in Rochester Hills, brought robotic equipment to the high school to get students interested in careers in advanced manufacturing. MAMC will use equipment from FANUC, along with Rockwell Automation, Lincoln Electric, and Parker Hannifin, to teach its courses.
The MAMC facility is located in the same building as Wilkinson Middle School, having converted 12,000 sq. ft. into instruction space. Gilbertson says large areas are necessary for these types of programs.
While many manufacturing jobs have left the region, Gilbertson says that there is once again a demand for a skilled advanced manufacturing workforce. They are good jobs, he says, and much safer and cleaner than the manufacturing jobs associated with the twentieth century.
Michigan Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative is located 26524 John R Rd. in Madison Heights. People are encouraged to apply online.