Having a certification in a high-demand field can give job seekers a leg-up, but higher education through a college or trade school can be out of reach for many — especially those who lost their jobs or experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s why Macomb County Community Action, Macomb Community College, the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development and Michigan Works, have teamed up to offer Macomb County residents free job training and certifications in 10 high-demand fields.
According to Stephanie Burgess, the Program Manager of Community Development for Macomb County Community Action, this program was started in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides assistance for costs associated with the programming, including tuition, books, tools and testing fees on a first-come, first-served basis. The program is funded by a $515,000 grant provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Regional Talent Innovation Grant Program and $320,000 of Community Development Block Grant funding provided to Macomb County through the CARES Act.
The courses are taught at Macomb Community College by experienced professionals in fields such as dental and laboratory assisting, phlebotomy, industrial maintenance, robotics tech and more.
“Those who teach in these program areas are highly skilled with years of experience in their fields,” says Patrick Rouse, director, Workforce & Continuing Education, Engineering and Advanced Technology, Macomb Community College
“The college provides continuous training opportunities to ensure they are abreast of industry innovation and evolving technology.”
How to enroll
To enroll in this program, eligible residents — those who have earned less than $50,150 annually and who experienced financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic — should fill out the pre-screening form through Macomb Community College.
“We recommend that interested persons begin the process by applying at least three weeks in advance of the program start date,” Burgess adds.
From there, a representative from the college will reach out to discuss program options and share an application. If that application is approved, the student may then register for courses on Macomb Community College’s website.
“This career training program provides the funding and powerful, accelerated opportunities to connect residents to in-demand jobs and careers with futures,” says Rouse. “These programs offer an amazing opportunity for Macomb County residents to get a jumpstart into the healthcare and advanced technology fields. At the same time, this program is helping address the skills shortage by developing talent with the skills that our local employers need.”
For more information on free career training in high-demand fields for residents of Macomb County, visit Make Macomb Your Home.