Federal grants will go toward teaching hybrid, battery technology
Macomb Community College is part of a consortium that has received $2 million to train workers for green energy jobs and foster the creation of new businesses related to the manufacture of electric and hybrid vehicles.
The money was awarded by three agencies within the Obama administration to the Southeast Michigan Advanced Energy Storage Systems Initiative. MCC, which has emerged as one of the state’s premier job training facilities, will receive $680,000 over a four-year period.
“The award recognizes the significance of the advanced energy storage industry and the need for a highly skilled work force to attract, retain and grow the sector in Southeast Michigan,” said Joseph Petrosky, dean of Engineering and Advanced Technology.
“This federal funding is providing additional support to initiatives already under way at Macomb Community College and Wayne State University, and increasing opportunities to leverage the rapidly evolving sector, which is critical to the future of many of our local economic engines, including automotive and defense.”
The 600 workers who will receive training will learn engineering-technician skills as they apply to electric and hybrid vehicles, advanced auto batteries, and high-tech powertrains. Some trainees will also receive internships.
The program will begin with traditional classroom learning and later expand into short courses. MCC and Wayne State, in the second and third year of the grant, will convert their short courses offerings to web-based and online learning.
The grant allows MCC and Wayne State to expand curriculum they’ve already developed with the help of the National Science Foundation, U.S. Dept. of Energy, and State Energy Sector Partnership.
In addition to MCC and Wayne State, the other partners in the Southeast Michigan Advanced Energy Storage Systems Initiative are: NextEnergy; Michigan Minority Supplier Diversity Council; Michigan Academy for Green Mobility Alliance; the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology; the Southeast Michigan Works Agencies Council; LG Chem Power, Inc.; the UAW; and Focus:HOPE.
The federal funding consists of an Employment and Training Administration grant of $999,994, an Economic Development Administration grant of $975,751, and a $150,000 allocation from the Small Business Administration to support efforts to build green energy opportunities for minority-owned supply firms.
“This major investment recognizes the promise of Southeast Michigan’s great work force and manufacturing infrastructure, and it is a testament to the strength of the many organizations working together to transform our manufacturing economy,” said U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. “This grant will get our workers ready for exciting new opportunities in alternative energy in our state.”