The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with participating companies and community colleges, is inviting students interested in pursuing education in a technical field while earning a paycheck at the same time.
The Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT²) program helps students earn an associate degree while getting on-the-job training and experience with a salary in high tech fields such as Product Design, Information technology and Mechatronics.
MAT² is benchmarked on the German Dual Education System, and the education model for the program was developed with input from global technology leaders.
It combines theory, practice and work into a single training program that is helping build Michigan’s globally competitive workforce.
The key to the program’s success is the direct involvement companies have in the education and training process of potential future employees. It allows employers to “grow” their own employees and make sure they live up to the employer’s professional competency standards.
MAT² participants will have their tuition fees for the three-year program paid by a sponsoring employer. Students will also receive an hourly wage for on-the-job training during the program, in addition to a weekly stipend while they are in school.
The best part, of course, is that participants are guaranteed employment with participating companies in Michigan after they successfully complete the program. The student has to commit to working with the sponsoring employer for at least two years after the program’s completion.
Participating community colleges include Macomb Community College, Henry Ford Community College, Oakland Community College, and Mott Community College.
The list of participating employers includes, among others, Volkswagen Group of America, Cadillac Products Automotive Company, Detroit Diesel, BorgWarner, Brose, Dürr, Eberspaecher, INERGY, KESSLER, Pontiac Coil, and ZF.
Kelsey Erne, a student who is studying Mechatronics at Oakland Community College under the MAT² program with Brose as her sponsoring employer, says in a blog post on the MEDC website that the program has given her everything she needs to succeed.
Kelsey adds that without it, she would probably be studying something she had no interest in at a different college, and would have no clear goal in mind. Instead, she is now getting paid experience while studying topics that she is excited about, and looks forward to a career in a field that is exciting and new.
Michael A. Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, said that the MAT² program is focused on meeting the needs of employers and “will equip students with experience and skills they need to succeed in today’s high-tech world.”