The U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Employment and Training Division awarded WIN a $6 million grant to train workers in robotics and automation. WIN is a partnership made up of 10 community colleges and six Michigan Works! Agencies in southeastern Michigan, including HFC.
This five-year grant will train 900 southeastern Michigan workers in careers in robotics and automation through the Advanced Michigan Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (AM-RAMTEC). WIN will manage AM-RAMTEC in an effort to align talent with employer and economic development needs in the region. HFC is one of the 10 Michigan-based community colleges that will provide the training.
“This grant provides robotics training for the underemployed, unemployed and incumbent workers. For some people, this’ll be entry level; for others, it’ll be professional development to increase their capacity to earn a higher wage. HFC is one of the 10 organizations that is proud to provide this training in the ongoing effort of bringing jobs to this region,” said Dr. Patricia A. Chatman, HFC director of Workforce and Professional Development.
The Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA) will serve as the grant fiduciary. This grant aligns with southeastern Michigan’s White House designation as an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) area. This initiative prioritizes a 16-county region encompassing greater Detroit for federal investment from 17 federal departments and agencies.
AM-RAMTEC’s goal is to use funding to help increase the number of unemployed and underemployed, non-traditional, incumbent and other workers receiving Certified Education Robotics Training (CERT) in the region.
“As the economy recovers, talent is becoming increasingly hard to find. These funds will help us dig deeper, support workers who might otherwise be left out of the economic recovery connect to a field that is in high demand, and offers strong wages and advancement opportunities,” said Lisa Katz, WIN executive director.
“This grant is another big step in this region’s economic recovery. There will always be a need for robotics and automation professionals because both fields are constantly evolving,” said Chatman.
For questions or further information about AM-RAMTEC and its partners, contact Katz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Kurt Anthony Krug
According to WIN, over the past decade, the region has recovered 11,614 robotics and automation jobs, increasing employment by 44.7 percent to 37,622 workers. Projections indicate an additional 1,500 new jobs by 2026 with approximately 1,535 individuals needed every year to fill turnovers and retirements. Wages have increased by 30 percent since from $42,669 in 2010 to $55,328 in 2016.
As part of the effort to support workers for employment and economic development needs, AM-RAMTEC will provide funding to:
- Support targeted outreach and case management of hard-to-serve populations pursuing careers in robotics and automation;
- Establish and expand the availability of training programs to improve access for program participants and ensure high quality materials, facilities and curricula for training providers;
- Increase the number of trained workers with access to high-wage earning opportunities through demonstrated employer commitments to hire new and incumbent workers;
- Outline clear and achievable career pathway strategies; and
- Provide resources to help workforce development partners, training partners and employers leverage and ultimately maximize all available funding to minimize the cost to program participants and place workers in income-earning and income-generating positions as quickly as possible.