People interested in pursuing new, in-demand careers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic can prepare for opportunities in advanced manufacturing through free training programs offered by Oakland County Michigan Works! and Oakland Community College.
The programs offer training in careers that offer starting wages as high as $25 an hour.
“Many people who lost jobs due to COVID-19 are considering new opportunities as we recover economically,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “Oakland County Michigan Works! in partnership with OCC wants to put these people back to work in long-term, viable positions. Now is the time to take advantage of the free training being offered. Our goal, through the Oakland 80 initiative, is to have 80 percent of our residents obtain a post-secondary degree or industry credential by 2030. These programs are great opportunities to do that.”
Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and Robotics Technician Program class begins Sept. 14 and lasts 14 weeks. Nearly 140 people have completed the training program since it was launched in 2017, with many now working in the field. Eligible participants receive $7,000 in free tuition through Oakland County Michigan Works! in partnership with the U.S Department of Labor and Workforce Intelligence Network. Upon completion of the program, starting wages range from $15-$25 an hour.
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machine Operator Training Program cohort also starts in September at a date to be announced and lasts five weeks. Since its launch last year, 20 people have completed the training. The America’s Promise Grant provides eligible participants with $2,500 in free tuition. Upon completion of the training, starting wages range from $13-$18 per hour.
CNC students can earn up to four National Institute for Metalworking Skills Certifications: Measurement, Materials and Safety; Job Planning, Benchwork and Layout; CNC Mill Operator; and CNC Lathe Operator.
Due to the pandemic, classroom instruction for both training programs is remote, with some hands-on activities at Oakland Community College in Auburn Hills. For more information and to determine eligibility, contact Kristen Charlton at (248) 232-4169 or Mona DeFrancesco at (248) 336-7793.
Applicant requirements for both programs include:
- U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
- Not currently registered in school within a local educational agency
- Registered with the Selective Service (if applicable)
- Unemployed or underemployed
- Other eligibility factors may apply
“People looking for a fresh start as the economy continues to open up in our state can take advantage of these two programs, which are free to eligible participants,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, director of Oakland County Michigan Works! “Employers across the region are looking for talented individuals with these skill sets and are hiring now.”
Oakland County Michigan Works! operates service centers in Novi, Oak Park, Pontiac, Southfield, Troy and Waterford. Combined, they assist more than 105,000 job seekers annually. Services include career coaching, interviewing and job search workshops, placement assistance, training courses and job trend information.
The service centers also assist more than 3,000 employers with talent recruitment, apprenticeship programs, job fairs, candidate pre-screening, hiring and training support, layoff support and labor market data.
Service center staff are available by virtual appointment to work one-on-one with job seekers to build their resumes, prepare for job interviews and help address other needs. To schedule a virtual meeting, call 1-248-858-5520 and select the office nearest to you. Service centers are hosting several virtual workshops for job seekers. A schedule is found at www.OaklandCountyMIWorks.com.