WarrenNovember 16, 2012
MCC’s M-TEC celebrates 10-year anniversary
By Maria Allard
C & G Staff Writer
WARREN — Joseph Victor was working as a biologist for the State of Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources, when budget cuts cost him his job.
Victor moved back to Michigan, filed for unemployment and looked for work. He eventually enrolled in the Macomb Community College Michigan Technical Education Center’s multi-skilled technician program.
“I walked into this building with robot cells. I thought, ‘This is going to be pretty cool,’” he said. “For 16 weeks, I learned as much as I could.”
The day he graduated, Victor “got a job right on the spot” at Comau, based in Southfield. “I’ve been working since February. I’ve gotten the opportunity to learn new skills.”
On Oct. 31, Victor and about 150 MCC staff, community leaders and students gathered at the M-TEC building on Van Dyke Avenue north of the I-696 service drive to celebrate the program’s 10-year anniversary. Victor and several other guest speakers addressed the crowd before everyone broke into groups to tour the facility.
Several programs are offered at M-TEC, including the CNC fast track, mechatronics, quality technician, technical writing, pharmacy technician, nurse assistant and a leadership series.
M-TEC prides itself on working with more than 5,000 employers annually, from small companies to large corporations. Representatives also develop and update training programs after obtaining direct input from employers, customize training to meet specific employer needs and connect employers with faculty.
M-TEC programs are designed to provide on-the-job experiences through cooperative education programs, internships, mentoring programs and job-shadowing experiences.
“I can’t thank M-TEC enough for the things they’ve done for me,” Victor said. “It’s truly been a life-changing experience.”
Computer numerical control student Aaron Hannah, like Victor, was unemployed when he came to M-TEC.
“I got into a CNC class within a week,” he said. “I set my mind on what I was going to accomplish in that class.”
He completed the course in three months and landed a job. Hannah said M-TEC “put me on my feet. It gave me a solid foundation.”
MCC President Jim Jacobs; MCC Vice President Jim Sawyer; Doug Rothwell, chair, Michigan Economic Development Corp. Executive Committee, and president and CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan; Tim Tarczynski, U.S. Army TACOM LCMC, deputy chief of staff for human capital, G1; and Daniel Nowicki, divisional chief financial officer, HAMPSON Aerospace Tooling Solutions also spoke at the event.
“We’re one of 18 different M-TECs located throughout Michigan,” Sawyer said.
“This was meant to be symbolic and a real place to be able to better meet the needs of business and labor,” Rothwell said.
And despite the economic downturn, Nowicki said “there is a need today in this state for manufactured employees,” he said. “About one third of our workforce will be looking at retiring in 10 years.”